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25 Sep 2018 16:48
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Tennis

    US Open: Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams in controversial women's singles final

    Japan's Naomi Osaka beats Serena Williams in a controversial women's singles final, in which Williams was penalised a game for a third code violation after accusing the chair umpire of "stealing a point" from her.

    Japan's Naomi Osaka has beaten Serena Williams in a controversial US Open women's singles final 6-2, 6-4 after Williams was penalised a game for a third court violation.

    Osaka, 20, became the first Japanese player to win a grand slam title and was in complete control over her more illustrious rival in a dominant first set.

    However in the second set, Williams received three code violations and was docked an entire game, handing Osaka a chance to serve out the match.

    The world number 19 was in tears during the presentation ceremony, pulling her visor over her face as boos rained down from the parochial home crowd in New York.

    "I know everyone was cheering for her and I am sorry it had to end like this," Osaka said.

    "It was always my dream to play Williams in the US Open finals so I am really glad I was able to do that. I am really grateful I could play with you. Thank you."

    Williams pleaded with a hostile crowd to cease booing.

    "I don't want to be rude but I don't want to do questions. Naomi played well. This is her first grand slam," Williams said.

    "Let's not boo anymore. Congratulations Naomi! No more booing! Thank you to my team, you guys are amazing."

    Williams's implosion in the second set came after the first game in which chair umpire Carlos Ramos handed Williams a code violation for "coaching" from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

    The first violation carries a warning, the second a point penalty, the third carries a game penalty.

    Mouratoglou admitted to ESPN that he was coaching, but that every coach coaches their players during games, raising questions about the validity of the rule.

    Questions were also raised as to whether Williams even saw the gesture made by her coach.

    After destroying her racquet on the court after losing the fifth game of the second set, Williams received that second violation, and a point penalty at the start of the sixth game.

    Williams vehemently rejected the coaching accusation in an angry exchange with umpire Ramos.

    "I didn't cheat. I didn't get coaching," Williams shouted at Ramos.

    "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 have never cheated."

    Osaka went on to hold that game to love and broke Williams in the following game to go 4-3 up in the second.

    At the change of ends, Williams was penalised a third time for calling Ramos a "thief" for "stealing a point" from her, resulting in a game penalty to fall further behind at 3-5.

    Williams then called for the tournament referee, remonstrating in tears, saying: "This is not fair, this has happened to me too many times."

    "There's a lot of men who have said a lot of things and because they're men, that doesn't matter,"

    "Because I'm a woman you're going to take this away from me? That is not right.

    "You know it, and I know you can't admit it but I know you know it's not right".

    The decision to penalise Williams was condemned by some former players.

    Despite being put on the back foot, Williams harnessed that sense of injustice to serve out the following game to love, amid a chorus of boos from a hyped-up Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.

    However Osaka showed an extraordinary level of composure to put that to one side, stepping up to serve out the match.

    Williams's next opportunity to equal the record 24 major singles titles of Australia's Margaret Court will likely come at the Australian Open.

    'Fighting for women's rights'

    After the match, an unrepentant Williams continued to deny she had received any advice and said she was instead a victim of sexism.

    "He [Ramos] alleged that I was cheating, and I wasn't cheating," she said.

    "I've seen other men call other umpires several things.

    "I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff."

    © 2018 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

     Other Tennis News
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