Naomi Osaka Beats Serena Williams to Win Her Maiden US Open Title

20-year-old Naomi Osaka is the first player from Japan to win a major singles tennis title.

Updated
Tennis
3 min read
Naomi Osaka of Japan holds the trophy after defeating Serena Williams in the women’s final of the US Open tournament on Saturday in New York.
i
Snapshot
  • Japan’s Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 in the women’s final at the US Open.
  • With this win, Naomi Osaka clinched her first Grand Slam title.
  • In the final, Serena was involved in a series of argument with the chair umpire Carlos Ramos which led multiple violations and penalties against Serena.

Serena Williams was penalised a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument as the U.S. Open women's final descended into chaos, with fans booing and play delayed before Naomi Osaka wrapped up a 6-2, 6-4 victory for her first Grand Slam title.

The biggest issue for Williams on the scoreboard Saturday was that she was outplayed by a younger version of herself in Osaka, a 20-year-old who is the first player from Japan to win a major singles tennis title and idolises the 36-year-old American.

During the trophy ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium, thousands of fans jeered repeatedly, and both Osaka — the champion — and Williams — the runner-up in her bid for a record-equaling 24thth Grand Slam trophy — cried.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka is hugged by Serena Williams after Osaka defeated Williams in the women’s final of the US Open tournament on Saturday.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka is hugged by Serena Williams after Osaka defeated Williams in the women’s final of the US Open tournament on Saturday.
(Photo: AP)

Williams put an arm around Osaka's shoulder and told the crowd: "I know you guys were here rooting, and I was rooting, too, but let's make this the best moment we can. ... We're going to get through this and let's be positive. So, congratulations, Naomi. No more booing."

Added Williams, with a laugh: "I really hope to continue to go and play here again. We'll see."

Serena Williams argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos during her match against Naomi Osaka in the women’s final of the US Open tournament on  Saturday.
Serena Williams argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos during her match against Naomi Osaka in the women’s final of the US Open tournament on  Saturday.
(Photo: AP)

This was the third high-profile conflict with an official for Williams at Flushing Meadows, following her infamous tirade after a foot fault in the 2009 semifinals against Kim Clijsters, and a dispute over a hindrance call in the 2011 final against Sam Stosur.

What the 2018 final will forever be remembered for is the way Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, demanding an apology after he initially issued a warning for a code violation in the second set's second game for receiving coaching, which is not allowed during Grand Slam matches.

After the match ended, in an interview with ESPN, Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged he had tried to signal Williams, but said he didn’t think she had seen him — and added that he thinks every player gets coaching during matches.

Briefly, Williams appeared to be working her way back into the match, breaking Osaka for the only time to go up 3-1 in the second set. But Williams played a poor game right after that to get broken immediately, and she smashed her racket on the court, destroying it. That drew a second code violation — and, automatically, cost Williams a point. When she realized that the next game had started with Osaka ahead 15-love, Williams told Ramos he should have retracted the initial warning for coaching.

Serena Williams takes a break during a changeover against Naomi Osaka during the women’s final of the US Open on Saturday.
Serena Williams takes a break during a changeover against Naomi Osaka during the women’s final of the US Open on Saturday.
(Photo: AP)

She resumed arguing with Ramos later, saying, "You stole a point from me. You're a thief, too."

This led to Ramos issuing a third code violation since Williams called him a ‘thief’, which resulted in a lost game. That made it 5-3 for Osaka.

Soon thereafter, the match was over.

It was the second Grand Slam final defeat in a row for Williams, after Wimbledon in July, as she seeks an initial major title since returning to the tour after having a baby in 2017. She missed the U.S. Open last year, because her daughter, Olympia, was born during the tournament.

(With inputs from AP)

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Published: 
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!