WTA back Serena Williams' sexism claims following US Open final drama

Ruben Holloway
September 10, 2018

Apart from the US Open victory, the 20-year-old beat Williams 6-3 6-2 in Miami in March this year.

Thankfully, Roger Federer ousted Kyrgios in the next round (including this outrageous around the net shot), and the tournament could carry on without his histrionics.

Williams fell 6-2 6-4 to Naomi Osaka in Saturday's final in a highly-charged match which saw the American repeatedly confront umpire Carlos Ramos.

You'll find hundreds of hot takes online, so let's just start with the basics.

"I could really feel for them", she said.

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"The WTA supports coaching through its on-court rule, but further review is needed". "I've never cheated in my life", Williams said. Although she understands and can use the language when she tries, she wants to expand her vocabulary and get better.

Williams was later docked a point for breaking a racquet and a game after calling Ramos a "thief" in separate incidents after the coaching violation. It's hard to generalise things, really.

The 2.4 overnight rating was up 32% from a year ago (1.9), when the Women's final featured two American players, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, and 79% higher than 2016 (1.4 for Angelique Kerber vs. Karolina Pliskova). She was graceful during an awkward trophy ceremony for her opponent, Naomi Osaka, but later said she would not have received the penalty if she was a woman and claimed she was fighting for women's equality. Ramos took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn't take a woman speaking sharply to him.

She tearfully accused Ramos of being a "thief" and angrily demanded an apology from the official.

Perhaps the most important job of all for an umpire is to respect the ephemeral nature of the competitors and the contest.

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But she told Ramos on Saturday in the heat of the moment that he would "never" officiate one of her matches in the future. This prompted Williams to address him.

"Time and again, Williams tried to crank up the volume and the intensity". This is about personalities, not about gender.

"I think pressure got her more than anything". It isn't, and as a result, a player was penalized for the actions of her coach.

After Serena Williams argued she was the victim of sexism in the US Open final, WTA chief executive Steve Simon backed the star's claim that a male player would have been treated differently. After a couple minutes of seemingly random thank you's and giggling throughout, she closed by saying, "This is probably gonna be the worst acceptance speech of all time".

A spokeswoman for Williams did not immediately respond when asked to comment on the remarks from Court and Ings, while the USTA said it does not make chair umpires available to the media. Unfortunately for those who will come up against her, you bet.

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