Serena Williams Reacts to Penalty at U.S. Open, Calls Chair Umpire a 'Thief'


Serena Williams lost her cool at Saturday’s U.S. Open women’s final after chair umpire Carlos Ramos indicated that the tennis great had cheated in her match against Naomi Osaka.

Williams ultimately lost the Grand Slam title to Osaka (6-2, 6-4) after she was penalized a game for, among other things, calling Ramos a “thief.” Her temper flared when Ramos issued a warning about a potential coaching violation. She then snapped her racket in half, resulting in a point violation.

“I understand why you might have thought that was coaching, but I’m telling you it’s not,” Williams argued. “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose… I’ve never cheated in my life. You owe me an apology.” She later insisted that Ramos would “never, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live… How dare you insinuate that I was cheating… You stole a point from me. You’re a thief.” Watch an excerpt below:

After Osaka’s victory, the crowd erupted, with many booing in defense of Williams. While Williams was insistent that a male tennis player wouldn’t have been penalized quite as harshly, she ultimately asked the crowd to calm down and let Osaka have her moment.

“I don’t want to be rude,” Williams said in an ESPN post-interview. “I just want to tell you guys that she played well, and this is her first Grand Slam. Let’s make this the best moment we can. We’ll get through it. Let’s not boo anymore… Congratulations, Naomi. No more booing.”

Your thoughts on the U.S. Open women’s final drama? Will this match be remembered for Osaka’s victory, or will it forever be overshadowed by Williams’ actions? Watch select excerpts above.