Serena Williams explains ‘thief’ accusation at US Open umpire after Naomi Osaka defeat | Tennis | Sport



Williams had no answer to Naomi Osaka’s consistency in the first set, losing it 6-2.

Then early in the second set, Williams was given a code violation for coaching by Ramos after her coach Patrick Mouratoglou appeared to make a gesture to her.

Williams fumed at the violation and told Ramos: “I don’t cheat. You owe me an apology.”

After being broken to go down 4-3, Williams smashed her racket which led to a point penalty.

Williams continued to exchange words with Ramos and then called him a “thief” which resulted in another violation for verbal abuse and meant Osaka was awarded a game.

Williams called the tournament referee onto the court and began crying as she explained her version of events.

She then held serve to make it 5-4 and Osaka then served out the match to win her first Grand Slam title.

Unsurprisingly, Williams was asked about what occurred on the court in her press conference and insisted she was not cheating.

She said: “He took a point from me. He alleged that I was cheating, and I wasn’t cheating.

“Then I had a good conversation with him. I said, Listen, you know my character. You know me really well.

“Like you know that I don’t even call for on-court coach. I don’t even do that.

“He’s like, You know what? I understand. I don’t know if he said, You’re right. But he understood. He’s, like, Yeah, I get what you’re saying.

“Then when I sat down, I said it again. I was, like, Just to be clear, I can understand what you saw because it may have looked — just because I look at my box, it may have looked like I was getting coaching, but I’m telling you, that’s not what I do.

“I said, I’d rather lose than have to cheat to win. I don’t need to cheat to win. I’ve won enough.

“That’s never been something I’ve ever done, you know.

“And he was cool. He was like, Oh, I get it. We had this great exchange. We were on the same page.

“We understood each other, and I felt that that was — yeah.”


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