You had a feeling that Serena Williams’ outburst was coming.
It just wasn’t against her opponent.
Already down a set to No. 20 Naomi Osaka, Williams was issued a violation for on-court coaching.
At 1-0 in the second, the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, issued a warning to Williams and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou who was believed to be signaling to Williams.
“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” Williams said to the chair umpire before returning to the baseline.
Replays, and a post-match interview with ESPN’s Pam Shriver, revealed that Mouratoglou was indeed coaching her, wanting her to move into the net more frequently.
Serena walked up to the chair umpire, saying that she wasn’t cheating – swearing on the life of her daughter Olympia.
"I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose."
—Serena to the chair umpire after receiving a coaching violation pic.twitter.com/v6Q2GWYYOn
— espnW (@espnW) September 8, 2018
Williams was issued a second code violation six games later after smashing her racket as frustration continued to boil over. As she sat in her chair during the changeover, Williams demanded an apology from Ramos for accusing of her cheating. He refused and she called him a thief for stealing a point from her in a championship match.
Ramos then issued a third violation, this time for verbal abuse against the chair umpire, costing Williams a game.
U.S. Open officials came onto the court to explain the rules to Williams while she argued that she was being targeted because of her gender.
Near tears, she said that her male counterparts frequently berate umpires, calling them worse than a thief, without getting penalized.
After her next service game, she argued with officials in the corner again, saying that she was targeted every year by umpires at the U.S. Open.
Mouratoglou admitted he coached Williams from the box, but also said she probably wasn’t aware he was doing so. Williams told Ramos that Mouratoglou was giving her a “come on” and a thumbs up, not coaching.
However, he said that all coaches coach from the’ box, including Osaka’s coach Sascha Bajin, and that he believes a change in the rules was needed.
He also said that Ramos frequently works men’s matches, but does not penalize players like Rafael Nadal for breaking the on-court coaching rule as often.
This wasn’t the first outburst Williams had at the U.S. Open. She famously berated a line judge in her semifinal loss against Kim Clijsters in 2009 and again in her final loss against Sam Stosur in 2011.
Williams went on to win her next game at love, but Osaka served out the match to win 6-2, 6-4.
Even with her outburst, Willams embraced Osaka after her first grand slam win.
As Ramos exited the court and U.S. Open officials came on court for the trophy presentation, the Arthur Ashe stadium crown booed.
Williams declined to answer question about her outbursts and asked the crowd stop booing to celebrate Osaka’s win. She gave Osaka, who became the first Japanese person to win a grand slam title, all the credit for the win.
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