Serena Williams got into a shouting match with the umpire in the US Open’s Women’s final as she accused him of ‘stealing a point from her’.
Umpire Carlos Ramos issued a game penalty to the US star during her match against Naomi Osaka as he accused her of getting coaching from the side lines.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner screamed at Ramos: ‘Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don’t cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right. You owe me an apology.
‘For you to attack my character is wrong. You owe me an apology. You will never be on a court with me as long as you live. You are the liar. You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry.
‘How dare you insinuate that I was cheating? You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too. ‘
Moments later Williams crashed out of the final with Osaka winning 6-2, 6-4.
The drama unfolded when Williams realized she had been given a point penalty after she broke her racket during the final at Flushing Meadows in New York City.
‘This is not right, this is not fair. This has happened to me too many times,’ Williams screamed at Ramos.
‘Because I’m a woman you’re going to take this away from me. This is not right. Ever single year that I play this is just not fair.’
Williams then began crying as she says: ‘I’ve worked so hard to be in this position.’
Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, had been accused of giving hand signals illegally in the first set.
Mouratoglou said after the game: ‘Not once in my life have I ever been called a coaching violation’.
As he was interviewed by ESPN he said he admitted that while he was coaching her it was no different from what any other coach does.
How Serena’s furious confrontation with the US Open umpire unfolded
Serena Williams was handed a code violation when her coach Patrick Mouratoglou appeared to make a gesture to her, in what the umpire said was off-court coaching.
Serena told the umpire ‘I don’t cheat’ before the game continued.
A few games later Williams smashed a racket after losing a game to go 4-3 behind. This led to a second code violation and her opponent was given a point. Williams then went on a bizarre rant, in which she called umpire Carlos Ramos ‘a thief’. You are a liar. You will never be on a court of mine as long as you live. When are you going to give me my apology. Say you are sorry,’ she screamed.
This resulted in another code violation and her opponent, Naomi Osaka, was awarded a game.
Williams called for the tournament referee as she cried on court. No further action was taken and the referee left the court.
Williams went on to lose the game 2-6, 4-6, and continued to stew on court during the prize ceremony to heckles from the crowd.
An on-court interviewer had to order the crowd to stop booing until Williams regained her composure. She then also called for the jeering to stop and congratulated her opponent.
It detracted from a magnificent performance from the American-raised Japanese player, and made for an embarrassing trophy handover, at which Williams was described as Osaka’s ‘role model’.
Ramos, a highly experienced official, had little alternative, given the abuse that was being thrown his way from Williams, who also angrily pointed her finger at him.
As the trophies were presented boos rang out around the stadium – most seemingly in sympathy with her – as she brought gender into the argument, now remonstrating with tournament Referee Brian Earley, who she summoned to the court.
‘You’ll never sit on a court with me as long as you live!’ was another threat to the umpire.
Amid an increasingly febrile atmosphere it appeared, for the first time, to get to Osaka and she was momentarily rocked on the back of the adrenaline rush provided for her opponent by the row who broke for 3-1 in the second.
It was after two double faults which saw parity restored that Williams completely lost it, hurling her racket to the floor to be given, inevitably, a point penalty.
Serena teared up as she said: ‘I don’t want to be rude but I just want to tell you guys that she played well and this is her first grand slam.
‘I know you guys were here rooting and lets make this the best moment we can. Lets not boo any more, lets be positive. Congratulations Naomi, no more booing.
‘Thank you to my team, you guys are amazing. Thank you to the crowd, you guys really are the best in the world.’
Osaka was also in tears, and said: ‘I know everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just want to say thank you for watching the match.’
As Osaka was handed the $3.8million prize check she thanked her mother for ‘sacrificing a lot for her’. ‘It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals.’
Osaka’s win made her the first Grand Slam champion from Japan.