REUTERS

UPDATE: Serena Williams to US Open Official: 'Because I'm a Woman, You're Gonna Take This Away From Me'

UPDATE: Sept. 10, 2018

The US Open tournament referee’s office
fined Serena Williams a total of $17,000 for three code violations $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for being warned for coaching and $3,000 for breaking her racket, according to The Associated Press. The funds will come out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up.

The $10,000 fine for “verbal abuse” is the largest fine of the U.S. Open so far.

Williams called Ramos a “thief” and demanded an apology for his accusation that she was cheating. However, James Blake tweeted that he’s said worse to umpires:

Andy Roddick admits to saying worse as well.

ORIGINAL STORY

Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams, 6-2, 6-4, on Saturday at the US Open women’s final. But #Serena was trending on Twitter as fans reacted to a double standard in tennis.


Williams, who was seeking a record-tying 24th major singles championship, accused chair umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism for issuing a code violation for her “thief” accusation. She said male players have made harsher comments to umpires without repercussions.

Ramos gave Williams the first of three code violations in the form of a warning early in the second set. He accused her of getting instructions from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who made a two-handed gesture from the seats.

“I don’t cheat to win,” Williams told Ramos. “I’d rather lose.”

Williams spoke to Ramos during the next changeover and said that she understood how he might have thought some coaching ocurred, but that none took place.

Mouratoglou later said to ESPN that he was attempting to give her instructions, but Williams wasn’t even looking in his direction. He added that Osaka’s coach, Sascha Bajin, had also been giving his player advice.

Later, at a post-match news conference, Williams confirmed she had no idea Mouratoglou tried to coach her.

“I just texted Patrick, like, ‘What is [Ramos] talking about'” she said. “I’m trying to figure out why he would say that.”

While continuing to play against Osaka, Williams received a second penalty for smashing her racket in frustration after she missed a shot. Ramos issued her a one-point deduction.

“There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman, because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me That is not right,” Williams told one official.

She said to Ramos at the next changeover that he was a “thief” for unfairly taking a point away from her. He then issued a game penalty, a third code violation that put Osaka up 5-3 and one game from the championship.

Osaka, age 20, would go on to defeat Williams. She moved to the United States at age 3, and now is the first Grand Slam singles champion born in Japan.

Osaka is of Haitian-Japanese descent. She grew up idolizing and emulating Williams, who told the crowd to stop booing and showing their disapproval of the officials during the awards ceremony. She wanted Osaka to fully experience her special moment. She hugged her multiple times and they both shed tears.

At the post-match news conference, Williams complimented Osaka on her performance and explained why she believes Ramos’ actions were sexist.

“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things,” she said. “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.’

“I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves and want to be a strong woman.

“They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.”

Many tennis fans, including celebrities, think the incident would have been viewed differently if the two athletes were men:

Tennis legend Billie Jean King agreed with Williams:

Watch Williams in post-match press conference:

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