Serena Calls Umpire Ramos ‘A Thief’ in Controversial US Open Final

Serena Williams to chair umpire Carlos Ramos: “You stole a point from me. You are a thief too.”

3 min read
Serena Williams arguing with the umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open Women’s final against Japan’s Naomi Osaka at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday.

In a huge upset and an extremely controversial final, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka won the US Open to become the first Grand Slam champion from Japan, beating Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4.

Unfortunately, this match will forever be remembered for the way Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, demanding an apology after he initially warned her for receiving coaching, which is not allowed during Grand Slam matches.

It started out in the second game of the first set when Williams was given a warning for coaching. In response Williams went up to the umpire to tell him that she'd "rather lose" than cheat.

Williams told Ramos that she was not being coached but being given a thumbs up from her box, which is not a violation. But on the TV replays, it looked as though William’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou was using signals to suggest Williams should get to the net more often.

Serena Williams continued her rant after change of ends.
Serena Williams continued her rant after change of ends.
(Photo: AP)

Later in the second set, after the fifth game, Williams was given a second violation, this one for smashing her racket. And yet again, she yelled at chair umpire Ramos.

Williams resumed her argument after the second violation, still angry about the first one. The second code violation cost Williams a point, meaning Naomi Osaka had a 15-0 even before hitting her first serve in the sixth game of the second set.

"Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don't cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter and I stand for what's right. You owe me an apology," Willimas told Ramos.

Williams continued her rant after change of ends.

“For you to attack my character is wrong. You owe me an apology. You will never be on a court with me as long as you live. You are the liar. You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. You stole a point from me. You are a thief too.”
Serena Williams to chair umpire Carlos Ramos

It was then that Ramos gave Williams a game penalty for verbal abuse. So instead of 4-3, Osaka went 5-3 up in the second set.

As Williams continued her tirade, tournament referee Brian Earley had to intervene to calm Williams down, so that the final could resume.

"This is not right. It's because I'm a woman. This happens to me every time I play here. It's not right. It's not fair,” said Williams before she went on to finish the final, eventually losing the second set 6-4.

This was the third high-profile conflict with an official for Williams at Flushing Meadows, following her infamous attack 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.

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