Four years after posing for a selfie with her favorite tennis player, Serena Williams, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka beat her 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday in the Grand Slam final.
But the outcome was marred for many onlookers by the actions of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who gave Williams three violations, the first two for coaching and for smashing her racket.
“I don’t cheat, I didn’t get coaching! How can you say that?” an audibly distressed Williams asked the umpire. “I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her, and I have never cheated. You owe me an apology!”
“You stole a point from me. You’re a thief,” she said.
Instead of an apology, he gave her a game penalty for yelling at him.
Some fans and reporters thought it was aggressive to call such a violation during the final.
“Two things can be true: 1. Serena did not lose because of Carlos. She lost because Osaka played lights out better than she did. And stayed composed. 2. The game penalty was absurd, and this is a devastating end to the tournament,” wrote sports reporter Lindsay Gibbs on Twitter.
Many were upset on Osaka’s behalf, as well.
“Osaka didn’t even get a chance to prove if she could win without intervention, and it’s her first title. This is messed up,” wrote Eva Maria.
“She made point men do much worse and are not penalized at all and she is right,” wrote Christopher Cuomo.
When the trophies were presented on the court, fans could be heard booing, and Osaka began to cry.
“She played well, this is her first Grand Slam,” Williams said, her voice cracking.
“Let’s not boo anymore,” she went on. “Congratulations, Naomi. No more booing.”
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