Serena v Osaka: US Open final reaction

Published by Reuters

Serena Williams comforts Naomi Osaka after the final at Flushing Meadows; Getty Images

For Naomi Osaka it was an unreal experience, for Serena Williams it was “outrageous” – the 2018 US Open provided one of the most dramatic Grand Slam finals in recent history.

Osaka won 6-2 6-4 to claim her first major title – the first by any Japanese singles player – but only after six-time champion Williams had received three code violations in a dispute over coaching with umpire Carlos Ramos.

REPORT: Osaka beats Serena in controversial final

Here is how those involved reacted:

Serena on Osaka: “I felt at one point bad because I’m crying and she’s crying. You know, she just won.

“I’m not sure if they were happy tears or they were just sad tears because of the moment. I felt like, ‘Wow, this isn’t how I felt when I won my first Grand Slam.’ I was like, ‘Wow, I definitely don’t want her to feel like that.’

“Maybe it was the mom in me that was like, Listen, we got to pull ourselves together here!.

“She played an amazing match. She deserved credit, she deserved to win. At the end of the day, that’s what it was.”

Serena on the code violations: “I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things. 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’.

“It blows my mind, but I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal – like [Alize] Cornet should be able to take off her shirt without getting a fine. This is outrageous.

TIMELINE: How the US Open final unfolded?

“I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that wants to express themselves, and wants to be a strong woman.

“They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.”

Osaka on being US Open champion: “It doesn’t really feel that real right now. I think maybe in a few days I’ll realize what I’ve done. Right now it just feels, like, I don’t know. Aside from the fact there’s a lot of press in this room, it feels just like another tournament.”

Osaka on Serena’s code violations: “I felt like I shouldn’t let myself be overcome by nerves or anything, and I should just really focus on playing tennis because that’s what’s gotten me to this point.

“So, yeah, I just thought, like, no matter what happens outside of the court, for me, when I step on the court, it’s just about tennis.”

US Open statement: “On the fifth point in the second game of the second set between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, the chair umpire witnessed coaching taking place from Williams’ coach.

“Even though her coach has admitted to coaching, Williams has made it clear that she did not receive any coaching. Nevertheless, in accordance with the rules, Williams was assessed a Code Violation, resulting in a warning.

“At the completion of the fifth game of the second set, Williams was assessed a second code violation for racquet abuse, which required a point penalty.

“At the changeover, at 4-3, Williams was assessed a third code violation for verbal abuse in the judgment of the umpire, which then required a game penalty.

“The chair umpire’s decision was final and not reviewable by the Tournament Referee or the Grand Slam Supervisor who were called to the court at that time.”

WTA statement: “Congratulations to both Naomi and Serena for reaching the final at the 50th anniversary of the US Open and to Naomi for winning her first Grand Slam title.

“They both played superb tennis throughout the US Open.

“There are matters that need to be looked into that took place during the match. For tonight, it is time to celebrate these two amazing players, both of whom have great integrity.

“Naomi is a deserving champion and Serena at all times plays with class and makes us proud.”

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