BY CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ
Senior Staff Writer
On Sept. 8, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka of Japan defeated Serena Williams in the 2018 U.S. Open Final. Although Osaka beat Williams with a 6-2 and 6-4 set win, she hasn’t been the one in the spotlight. Williams has been the one who has received the attention after this match due to her verbal altercation with the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos.
It all started in the second set during the second game when Ramos warned Williams for receiving coaching, which is disallowed.
“Cheating is the one thing I’ve never done ever,” said Williams towards Ramos.
The dispute between Williams and Ramos continued a few games later when Williams was penalized for smashing her racket in frustration, receiving her second violation and giving Osaka a point.
It was in between games when Williams received her third violation for verbal abuse. This came after Williams called Ramos a “thief” in regards of her first violation. Although Williams smashed her racket, and her comments towards Ramos cost her more than the violation for receiving coaching, Williams seemed more upset for being accountable of cheating.
“It wasn’t justified for Serena to do what she did,” said senior tennis player Omar Abdo. “She overreacted and took everything out of proportion which was honestly sad. Poor Osaka didn’t even get the credit she deserves because of all the media attention on Serena. Serena was definitely in the wrong.”
Williams referenced her daughter when saying she would never set an example about cheating; she would rather lose than cheat. She called Ramos a “liar” and asked him for an apology.
“For you to attack my character is something that’s wrong,” said Williams in between games. “It’s wrong. You’re attacking my character. Yes, you are. You owe me an apology. You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar.”
Williams even appealed to the U.S. Open referee, Brian Early, during the break after the games in the second set. During the break, the issue got controversial because Williams felt she was being treated unfairly because she is a woman, and she let Ramos know it.
“There are men out here who do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me? That is not right,” said Williams.
Recording artist, Kelly Rowland, who attended the match and is friends with Williams, backed her up and liked the fact that Williams stood up for herself and started a movement.
“I’m happy that she’s starting a movement of change for women, that’s what I love that she took away from everything,” said Rowland. “When someone told me that he (Ramos) got upset, that she (Williams) called him a thief, the first thing I thought of was that men say way worse on the court.”
The issue became external from the game of tennis when the media connected this incident to discrepancy between men and women and how they are treated in the same environments.
“The media focuses on Serena because right now she is the queen of tennis. She just had a kid and came back playing like she was before she had a kid,” said senior Lyle Bennet. “I think she was justified in reacting in the way she did because it was the championship game. I think she was treated poorly, and it wasn’t the fair decision.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article