Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam title on Saturday, while her idol, Serena Williams, imploded angrily, qualifying the chair umpire in the final of the US Open as "a thief." Osaka, 20, triumphed 6-2, 6-4 in the game marred by the outbreak of the second set of Williams, the American enraged by the warning of referee Carlos Ramos to receive training from his box. She tearfully accused him of being a "thief" and angrily demanded an apology from the official.
When he was handed a second violation of the code for racquet abuse, along with a penalty for points, Williams exploded.
"You are attacking my character," he said. "You will never be in another court, you are the liar," he was furious and Ramos gave him a penalty in the game that put Osaka in a 5-3 victory game in the second set.
Williams won the next game and continued his tearful protests with a supervisor over the change, but Osaka, who showed not only a stellar game but a remarkable bearing the entire time, maintained the service to seal a historic victory for his country.
Williams, who was looking for a first Grand Slam title since the birth of his daughter Olympia on September 1, 2017, was denied the 24th Grand Slam title that would have matched the Margaret Court record.
While the pro-Williams crowd booed the announcers at the trophy presentation, Osaka was tearing apart, but Williams urged the spectators to show respect to the young champion.
"She played well," Williams said, pausing to calm down. "This is his first Grand Slam." I know they were here rooting, but let's do it at the best possible time. Give credit to everyone for the credit. Let's no longer boo. Congratulations Naomi. "
When it was Osaka's turn, she seemed lost.
"I know everyone was cheering her up and I feel like it's over like that," she said.
"It was always my dream to play Serena in the finals of the US Open," he added, and turned to Williams herself. "I'm really grateful to have been able to play with you, thank you."