09:11 GMT25 February 2021
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    During her US Open final defeat to Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, Serena Williams lashed out at the umpire, accusing him of sexism, after receiving three code violations.

    US tennis star Serena Williams launched into a fiery rant against chair umpire Carlos Ramos as she called him a “thief” after she was handed multiple code violations while playing against Naomi Osaka in the US Open final.

    READ MORE: Meet the Stunning Slovak Tennis Player Who Stormed the US Open (PHOTO)

    The umpire gave Williams the first warning for allegedly receiving coaching from her box during the second game of the second set, while she insisted that she had only been given a thumbs-up.

    “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know,” Williams yelled.

    While leading 3-2 in the second set, she received the second warning and was docked a point for smashing her racket in accordance with the International Tennis Federation’s penalty schedule, which stipulates the first code violation is a warning and the second means a point penalty.  The penalty prompted Williams to erupt on court.

    “You’re attacking my character. Yes, you are. You owe me an apology. You will never, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it, say you’re sorry,” she flipped out.

    When the umpire didn’t apologize, Serena said: “Well then don’t talk to me. Don’t talk to me,” and that’s when he handed her the third code violation for “verbal abuse.”

    “Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Because I said you’re a thief. Because you stole a point from me. But I’m not a cheater. But I told you to apologize to me,” she said and approached the referee.

    US Open officials came onto the court to talk to Williams, who accused the umpire of treating her unfairly because she’s a woman.

    READ MORE: Naomi Osaka Beats Serena Williams, Wins First Grand Slam Singles Title

    Following her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Osaka, Williams held a press conference, where she doubled down on her earlier court rant at the umpire.

    “I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’, and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’.b For me, it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women,” she stated.

    Williams’ conduct on court has caused mixed reactions on social media, with some saying she was “ridiculous” and stole the thunder from Osaka, who became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title:

    Some, however, believed that the umpire had indeed showed “sexism at its finest”:

    Tennis players, experts, journalists, celebrities and Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou weighed in to comment on the game:

    Two-time Australia Open champion and two-time US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka with many others jumped to the defense of the former No 1:

    Billie Jean King, who won 12 Grand Slam singles titles, also offered her view on what happened:

    Speaking after her win, Naomi Osaka confessed that she had wanted to be like Serena as a kid, but she “didn’t dream to lose” a US Open final with Williams.

    “When I was growing up, I did a whole report on her in third grade. I colored it and everything. I said ‘I want to be like her.’ For me, I’m always going to remember the Serena that I love. It doesn’t change anything for me. She was really nice to me at the net and on the podium. I don’t really see what would change,” Osaka said.

    Naomi also said that she was aware that Williams “really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam” title:

    “Everyone knows it. It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere. When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person, right? I’m not a Serena fan. I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again.”


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    referee, thief, sexism, violation, code, tennis, US Open, Serena Williams, Japan, US
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