Naomi Osaka won the US Open to become the first Grand Slam champion from Japan, beating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 after the American was penalized one game for a third code violation.
Williams was given three code violations by chair umpire Carlos Ramos, the third leading to an automatic loss of a game in the second set.
The first violation was for coaching, and occurred in the second game of the second set while Osaka was serving.
Williams angrily responded, approaching the chair and telling Ramos that she was not being coached but rather being given a thumbs up from her box, which she said she not have been a violation.
“I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose,” she said.
‘Because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me?’
Williams was then given a second violation for smashing her racket. The second violation cost Williams a point, meaning Osaka had a 15-0 even before hitting her first serve in the sixth game of the second set.
Williams confronted Ramos again, unwrapping a new racket and demanding an apology from Ramos and calling him a “thief.”
“You owe me an apology,” she said. “I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her. I’ve never cheated, and you owe me an apology. You will never do another one of my matches.”
She continued: “And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief.”
Ramos then gave Williams her third code violation for verbal abuse, which gave her a game penalty that put Osaka up 5-3.
Williams, enraged, summoned the referee Brian Earley and argued that she was being unfairly penalized based on her gender, because men had done worse without being punished.
“Because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me?” she said. “This has happened to me too many times.”
Osaka would go on to win the match shortly after the penalty was assessed, earning the first major title of her young career.