Serena Williams accused chair umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism during her 6-2, 6-4 loss against Naomi Osaka in the final of the U.S Open championship. She received a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and a game penalty for calling the umpire a “liar” and a “thief”.
A fiery Serena continued her on-court tirade at the media press conference later. Asked what she would have done differently in hindsight, Serena became increasingly emotional and said, “I can't sit here and say I wouldn't say he's a thief, because I thought he took a game from me."
“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. For me to say ‘thief’, and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’,” she said.
“For me, it blows my mind. But, I’m going to continue to fight for women,” she said, as a smattering of applause spread through the interview room.
After the match, Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou admitted that he was coaching but added, "I don't think she looked at me.” He also said that Osaka's coach was doing the same and that "everyone does it".
Speaking to reporters, Serena maintained that she was “was not being coached” and that she "did not understand" why Mouratoglou would say he was doing so.
“I just texted Patrick, like, 'what is he talking about?' Because we don't have signals. We have never discussed signals. I don't even call for on-court coaching,” she said.
She, however, refused to pin the result of the match on Ramos’s actions. “I feel like she [Naomi] was playing really well. I feel like I really needed to do a lot to change in that match to try to come out front, to try to come out on top,” Serena said of Osaka’s performance.
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