Osaka wins as Williams calls umpire 'thief'

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2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Serena Williams broke down in tears after she was docked a game in the final set of a dramatic US Open final which she lost 6-2 6-4 to Naomi Osaka.

Williams, 36, was given a third code violation by umpire Carlos Ramos after calling him a “thief”, leading to the penalty which gave Osaka a 5-3 lead.

Osaka, 20, maintained her focus to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam.

Williams refused to shake hands with Ramos after the match.

The American graciously congratulated Osaka at the net after the 20th seed completed an extraordinary victory and, although Williams’ behaviour will grab the attention, nothing should detract from a classy and composed display from Osaka.

“I’m sorry it had to end like this,” a crying Osaka said.

What happened?

Williams was given a first code violation after Ramos judged a gesture from coach Patrick Mouratoglou to be coaching – which is allowed on the WTA Tour but not during Grand Slams.

Williams insisted she had not received any tactics from Mouratoglou.

She then received another for a racquet smash at 3-2 in the second set, leading to Ramos docking her a point as Osaka started at 15-0 in the following game.

Williams was furious, walking up to Ramos, shouting and pointing at him as the crowd started booing in support of the former world number one.

The drama continued as the atmosphere in Ashe became more toxic.

Williams, still angry with Ramos for the previous two violations, refused to let the issue slide and launched an extraordinary rant at him at the changeover with Osaka leading 4-3.

“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 told him.

That led to Ramos docking her the next game – leaving Osaka just one more away from victory at 5-3 up.

Boos continued to rain down, generating incredible noise, as Williams refused to take to the court and demanded an intervention from the tournament referee.

Eventually she returned to the baseline, serving out a game to love before Osaka showed remarkable focus to hold the final game for her first Grand Slam win.

More to follow.



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