Hamilton defends 'inspiration' Williams after US Open umpire row

Her behaviour during the US Open final split opinion but Serena Williams has been hailed as an "inspiration" by Lewis Hamilton.

Serena Williams smashes her racket during the US Open final   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has jumped to the defence of Serena Williams after her stunning outburst during Saturday's US Open final.

During her 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Naomi Osaka, Williams was handed a series of code violations by umpire Carlos Ramos - the first of which arrived in the opening set for what the official deemed to be on-court coaching.

READ: Serena joins Zidane, Tyson and McEnroe in catalogue of famous sporting meltdowns

That accusation enraged Williams, who smashed her racket after being broken in the second set and was given a point penalty. The 23-time grand slam champion, later, confronted Ramos, labelling him a "liar" and a "cheat", for which she was docked a game.

In her post-match news conference, Williams claimed that she would not have been so harshly treated if she was a man, and Formula One world champion took to social media to lend his support to the 36-year-old.