For any tennis fan, the major highlight of the year is the US Open. This year the US open was supposed to be celebrating the victory of first Japanese women to win any Grand slam title but instead the final ended in a very wrong manner. Naomi Osaka won the US open 2018 with 6-2,6-4. But the win was overshadowed by the controversy that took place between Serene Williams and the chair umpire- Carlos Ramos.
Serena Williams and Carlos Ramos got into a verbal interaction with each other in the second set of a match which saw multiple code violations by Serena Williams, who has in total till date won 23 Grand slam titles. The reasons for this verbal interaction were three incidences that took place which made Serena lose her cool.
Serena’s coach, Patrick Mourtoglou was seen doing some hand gestures towards Serena. According to the code, the coach cannot guide the player once he/ she is inside the court. These hand gestures were seen by the Chair Umpire and hence Serena was given Coaching violation. Serena went into a total rage after getting the violation. Serena denied the allegation by saying that the coach was just telling her to pump up a little. However, the line umpire did not believe her. Later, the coach Patrick Mourtoglou accepted the allegation and accepted the fact that he indeed was telling Serena to move forward in the court.
The second incident took when in the fifth game of the second set, Serena got two straight code violations. This made Serena more furious and she smashed her racket. She was immediately given a violation for Racket abuse. According to the rule, smashing of a racquet or breaking rackets on the court leads to a code violation. As she stepped up to take the service during the change of sides she realized that one point has been deducted for smashing the racket. She went up to Ramos and said, “Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don’t cheat. I have a daughter and I always stand by what is right. You owe me an apology ”.
The drama continued at the Arthur Ashe stadium as Serena, being upset for being called a cheater went up to confront Ramos. The score before confronting the umpire was 4-3. Serena went up to the umpire and said “How dare you question my character? I have never cheated in my entire life. You owe me an apology. Say that you are sorry.” The chair umpire considered this as verbal abuse and gave a verbal abuse card to Serena and the score from that moment became 5-3, giving Naomi an advantage.
It now all comes down to one question- Was Serena treated differently? The sport of Tennis has given us players like Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Ilie Nastase who had an image of a bad boy. They have also verbally abused on the court , smashed Rackets on the court, but they never had to lose a point because of this.Blake, an American former top-ranked Tennis player went on twitter to talk about how Serena was a victim of sexism. He said how he had worst things on the court than that Serena said but never got any penalty. Mardy Fish, another top-ranked tennis player accepted that sexism existed in the game and that the two calls given against Serena were ridiculous. Lebron James also came in support of Serena and her fight for equality.
Serena Williams has been handed over with a fine of $17,000 for her controversial lose against Naomi Osaka.
Written By- Shriniket Vichare