“I didn’t know what was going on, I was just trying to focus. Since it was my first Grand Slam final, I did not want to get overwhelmed”
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 09/09/18 1:56am
US Open champion Naomi Osaka insisted she was mystified by Serena Williams’ spectacular meltdown which saw the tennis legend accuse the chair umpire of being a “liar and a thief”.
Osaka became Japan’s first ever Grand Slam champion after she thumped Serena Williams 6-2 6-4 in a dramatic final on Saturday, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion incandescent with rage after she was handed a code violation for on-court coaching.
The headlines were supposed to be about Williams’ bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title and Osaka trying to become Japan’s first Slam winner, but instead Williams’ argument with umpire Carlos Ramos that escalated dominated the match.
It was a baptism at the highest level for the 20-year-old, who was also in tears during the trophy presentations.
“I know everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just want to say thank you for watching the match,” said Osaka. “It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals. I’m really glad I was able to do that.”
Osaka later admitted she did not know what was happening as her victory was overshadowed by the American’s angry and tear-filled meltdown in the second set.
“I didn’t know what was going on, I was just trying to focus. Since it was my first Grand Slam final, I did not want to get overwhelmed,” she said.
Williams was handed a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racket abuse and a game penalty for calling umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar and a thief” and insisting “you owe me an apology”.
“Serena came to the bench and told me she had a point penalty and when she got the game penalty I didn’t know that either,” added Osaka.
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