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UK News Desk

Osaka: Sorry it had to end like this

“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”

Last Updated: 09/09/18 1:56am

Naomi Osaka was mystified by Serena Williams' spectacular meltdown

Naomi Osaka was mystified by Serena Williams’ spectacular meltdown

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 given three code violations by chair umpire Carlos Ramos, the third leading to an automatic loss of a game in the second set

Williams was given three code violations by chair umpire Carlos Ramos, the third leading to an automatic loss of a game in the second set

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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