Naomi Osaka becomes the first Grand Slam Champion born in Japan, after the 20-year old smashed six-time US Open winner in a final marred by controversies between Serena Williams and Umpire Carlos Ramos.
Serena Williams hope of landing her 24th Grand Slam was dashed after she was penalised three times for breaking tennis code, as she was accused of cheating, smashing of her racket on court, and also calling the umpire Carlos Ramos a ‘thief’ after their hot exchange.
The new US Open champion Naomi Osaka who through all her career as a tennis player has watched and idolized Serena Williams, could not believe her eyes as to how despite the distractions from the umpire and Serena Williams, and not to talk of the boos from fans, maintained her calmness as to claim an epic first Grand Slam title of her career, over her idol Serena Williams
The 20-year old watched her scoreboard increased favouring her over Serena Williams, as Carlos kept deducting points from Williams, but she already established her advantage before the commotion and sexism claim from Serena.
The game which would have been remembered for the remarkable displays from Naomi Osaka, will be long remembered for a series of confrontations between Serena Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos.
Though Naomi Osaka has long established her dominance in the game before the confrontation, still knowing how Serena plays her game and has shown all her career that she has the ability to always come back, the penalties and Carlos Ramos’s accusations whether wrongly or rightly affected her in the game plan and denied her of a possible 24th Grand Slam title.
Some might argue this, but I felt Serena Williams played into the hands of the umpire. She should have channeled her emotions into the game and fight back, rather than engage the umpire who is already known for his no nonsense officiating.
Carlos Ramos knowing fully well the magnitude of that game and the influence of Serena Williams on women’s tennis went ahead with his penalisation, even after Serena denied his clams of cheating, to which majority of those that came to see the finals did not find funny.
Osaka unlike other USOpen champions might not really enjoy her crown given the circumstances surrounding her win, even though she deserved to win. This is because given the reactions from the fans who were dissatisfied by the way the game was offficiated by Carlos Ramos it clearly shows who really had the fans and who the Queen of female tennis is.
Serena Williams losing two Grand slam finals back to back, since returning after she too a break to give birth to her daughter, is definitely heartbreaking, especially for a player who is the face of women tennis. But while reacting to the outcome of the game, she said:
“She played an amazing match,” “She deserve credit”
Naomi Osaka was credited for her power, speed and ability, which on a night Serena Williams lacked and lost all her emotions and powers for thetgame, to which the 20-year old took advantage of, to secure herself her first Grand Slam win.
Williams and her coach later said what umpire interpreted as Serena taking a coaching Instructions from her coach, was a mere thums up gesture, which is not abnormal in anyway. She also said, she has never cheated in her life, saying:
“I don’t cheat to win,” she said in a stern tone. “I’d rather lose.”
Serena also demanded an apology from Ramos after saying she was cheating. She said:
“You owe me an apology,” Williams said. “I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her and I have never cheated.”
Osaka explaining her view on the whole situation, said:
“The crowd was really noisy, so I really didn’t hear,” she said. “Like, I really didn’t hear anything that was going on. And when I turned around, it was 5-3. So I was a little bit confused then. But for me, I felt like I really had to focus during this match because she’s such a great champion, and I know that she can come back from any point.”
As the players stood next to each other, fans booed and Williams, seeing how upset Osaka was, moved over and put her arm around the new champion and then pleaded with the fans not to boo.
Osaka, in her speech, apologized to the fans, acknowledging that most of the fans were rooting for Williams in her quest to set a career record.
“I know that she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right?” Osaka said later. “Everyone knows this. It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere. When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I’m not a Serena fan. I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player.”
Then, tearing up, she added, “Anyway, when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again” she said