On Saturday, the 36-year-old tennis star was defeated in the U.S. Open Women’s Final by Japan’s Naomi Osaka after Williams received three code violations. Later, at the trophy ceremony, waves of boos erupted and 20-year-old Osaka quickly pulled down her visor and wept. Williams then put her arm around the athlete in a show of support.
Later, Williams, also in tears, praised Osaka, stating, “I don’t want to do questions. I just want to tell you guys, she played well. And this is her first Grand Slam… I know you guys were here rooting, and I was rooting too. But let’s make this the best moment we can, and we’ll get through it. Let’s give everyone the credit where credit’s due. Let’s not boo anymore. We’re gonna get through this, and let’s be positive. So congratulations, Naomi! No more booing.”
When it came time for Osaka to speak, she also acknowledged the difficult moment.
“I know that everyone was cheering for her,” she said. “I’m sorry it had to end like this. I just want to say thank you for watching the match.”
To recap, Williams’ final match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, took a difficult turn on Saturday when she was given a violation for gestures made by her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Then, she smashed her racket and was given another violation. This prompted a heated dialogue with the umpire Carlos Ramos.
“You owe me an apology,” she demanded. “I have never cheated in my life! …You stole a point from me. You're a thief, too!"
Williams became emotional during the exchange, breaking into tears while arguing her case.
Ramos called this “verbal abuse” and issued her a third penalty, allowing Osaka to win, 6-2, 6-4. Her victory marks the first time a Japanese woman has won a Grand Slam event.
Additionally, the tennis star is being fined $17,000 for her violations, according to CBS Sports. This includes $4,000 for a coaching violation, $3,000 for slamming her racket and $10,000 for the supposed “verbal abuse.”