Serena Williams lost at the U.S. Open, but not before losing it on the umpire. The 36-year-old tennis superstar was penalized for calling the chair umpire a “thief” and more during a stunning argument at the U.S. Open women’s final in New York. Fans in the stands later began booing as 20-year-old Naomi Osaka wrapped up a 6-2, 6-4 victory for her first Grand Slam title, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
During the emotional match, Williams went head-to-head with chair umpire Carlos Ramos. The tennis pro demanded an apology from Ramos after he warned her for receiving coaching from her coach. Patrick Mouratoglou was allegedly making hand signals, which is a code violation in Grand Slam matches.
According to CBS Sports, Williams freaked out over the violation and claimed that her coach was simply giving her a thumbs up. Williams then demanded an apology from Ramos, saying she has never cheated in tennis in her life.
“You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life! I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her. I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know.”
During the live broadcast, ESPN analyst Chris Evert said she believed Williams’ coach was signaling her to get to the net with more frequency.
You cannot continue to degrade a person and expect them not to finally pounce back. @serenawilliams has consistently displayed perseverance and grace but she is not to be made a fool of. “Let this be a remind to all... I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.” #usopen pic.twitter.com/5Vwlebh7yx— Ryan Jamaal Swain (@RyanJamaal) September 8, 2018
Serena Williams later slammed her racket on the court, after losing serve in the fifth game, which resulted in another violation and a point penalty for the sixth game. The tennis star flipped out on Ramos once again, this time calling him a “thief” for stealing a point from her. Williams didn’t let up, reportedly later commenting on Ramos’ as a judge.
“You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry.”
A full game penalty was leveled against Williams in the eighth game after she berated an official.
After U.S. Open officials took to the court to talk to Williams and calm her down, the match resumed, resulting in a loss for the U.S. superstar.
The match was followed by a cringe-worthy ceremony that featured both Williams and Osaka, who has long looked at Serena as her idol. The Japanese tennis pro’s win was marred by the crowd booing in protest of the officiating during the match, with Osaka in tears, apologizing for how things ended. Williams told the crowd to stop booing and she congratulated Osaka on her win.
From boos to cheers. An emotional and powerful moment for Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams at the US Open podium. (????⬆️) pic.twitter.com/oTg6SORjXe— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2018
The U.S. Open loss marks Serena Williams’ second runner-up finish since returning to tennis following the birth of her daughter, Alexis, last year. In July, Williams finished second at Wimbledon after losing to Angelique Kerber in the final. She remains just one win away from 24 career Grand Slam singles titles, which would tie the all-time record held by Margaret Court, set in the 1970s.