It was supposed to be about Naomi Osaka bagging Japan's first Grand Slam win, but instead the US Open 2018 final between Serena Williams and Naomi snowballed into controversy when the former argued with umpire Carlos Ramos following the defeat.
#SerenaWilliams has dominated a game that she was never invited to play PERIOD:bangbang: Women's tennis now fills the seats!!! She's told what she cannot wear,she's drug tested more than any other player and now she's accused of cheating, You can hear years of frustration in her voice. pic.twitter.com/eYK58SwBE8
- C O U R T N E Y :crown: (@CourtneyLaTina) September 9, 2018
Serena has backed up her courtside tirade with a press conference in which she accused the umpire of sexism, after she was handed three code violations by Carlos during her loss to the 20-year-old player on Saturday: for receiving coaching signals; for breaking her racket; and for calling the chair umpire a thief.
If Serena had won the Grand Slam title, it would've been her 24th and would've matched Margaret Court's record. She was particularly cut up about the coaching violation - a result of a hand gesture from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou - declaring she would rather lose than be deemed a cheater.
The Guardian reports that since the heated battle, Serena renewed her attack at a later press conference.
She said: "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'.
"For me, it blows my mind. But I'm going to continue to fight for women."
Serena's defiance against the alleged sexism she's experienced was seen earlier on the court when she was speaking to referee Brian Earley where she said: "Because I'm a woman, you're going to take this away from me?"
It looks like Serena's unwilling to back down with the injustice she feels she experienced during the US Open 2018 and already she's garnered the backing of many fans and professionals online.
World champion tennis player Victoria Azarenka chimed in on the controversy and backed up Williams' stance with the following statement: "If it was men's match, this wouldn't happen like this. It just wouldn't."
If it was men's match, this wouldn't happen like this.
It just wouldn't
- victoria azarenka (@vika7) September 8, 2018
Meanwhile, Billie Jean King - who bagged 12 Grand Slam singles titles and helped pave the way for equal prize money in tennis - wrote: "Several things went very wrong during the US Open women's finals today. Coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis. It isn't, and as a result, a player was penalized for the actions of her coach. This should not happen."
(1/2) Several things went very wrong during the @usopen Women's Finals today. Coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis. It isn't, and as a result, a player was penalized for the actions of her coach. This should not happen.
- Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 9, 2018
This isn't the only controversy Serena's been involved in of late - it was only a couple of weeks ago when she responded to the French Tennis Federation banning all-in-ones by wearing a black tutu, fishnet tights and sparkly silver trainers. Because that's the kind of boss she is.
Whatever your take on Serena's recent outburst, there's no denying this woman does not back down when it comes to standing up for what she thinks is right.
It cost her though. Williams was fined $17,000.
But perhaps while we're here, we should be tipping our hats to Naomi for bagging the title for Japan and maintaining her dignity throughout the entire shitstorm.
Speaking on the drama, she said: "I'm always going to remember the Serena that I love. It doesn't change anything for me. She was really nice to me at the net and on the podium."
Now that's what you call an honourable winner.
Featured Image Credit: PA