On 8th of September, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in New York saw something outrageous. Serena Williams was playing US Open finals against Japan’s Naomi Osaka when she was given a penalty of code violation for coaching by the chair umpire Carlos Ramos. The controversial show didn’t stop there, Williams was further given a point penalty for smashing her racquet and also a game penalty for verbal abuse.
The match was going quite well till the second set when the chair umpire penalised Serena Williams for code violation. Serena lost her temper, her rage came out on the umpire and she called him ‘a thief and a liar’.
“You stole a point from me, you are a thief”, she told him.
Serena Williams accused the chair umpire of sexism because he gave her a game penalty for verbal abuse whereas male players do that most of the time and are never penalised with a game penalty. Serena Williams has faced various racist attacks during her career. She claims that she didn’t cheat whereas her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou accepted that he was coaching her, but Serena wasn’t looking at her. On the 9th of September Serena was charged with a fine of $17000.
However, the only individual who suffered a huge loss due to this controversial match was Naomi Osaka. Despite playing amazingly, the Serena-Umpire controversy stole her limelight. Naomi Osaka is 20 years old and has become Japan’s first individual to win a US Open, but very few came to know of this.
Now, if we try to analyse who was at fault, we can’t blame anyone. Both Serena and the umpire were somewhere wrong. Serena shouldn’t have misbehaved with the chair umpire, even though her male counterparts do that, she shouldn’t have, because rules are rules. On the other hand, instead of a penalty, the umpire should have given Serena a warning when he saw her coach giving directions.