To put it simply, I lost some respect for Serena Williams. At the US Open final, Williams caused an absolute scene when the umpire, Carlos Ramos, gave her three penalties while facing off against Naomi Osaka. This is what I thought of the entire situation.
Before watching the highlights I had no idea that you couldn't coach in tennis, and in fact, it seems as if most umpires do not care. But that doesn't mean all umpires are the same, and in fact, Ramos is holding the game to a higher standard by enforcing all of the rules. This was Williams first penalty and when it was announced she went straight up to Ramos and told him how she doesn't cheat and that she thought he was giving her a thumbs up. Her coach Patrick Mouratoglou in an interview afterward said: "I was coaching but I didn't think she looked at me."
Yeah, so that wasn't true.
Williams would later break a racket out of frustration and that is an automatic penalty, which means she is giving Osaka a one-point lead in the next game. After Ramos announces that it is her second penalty, this is where the fuse is lit. Williams berates Ramos continually saying that she isn't a cheater and demands an apology and also that brings up that he attacked her character. She also brings up that she has a daughter and she stands up for what's right for her, which at the time made absolutely no sense. It is clear in the rules that receive coaching and breaking a racket can both be penalties, so fighting Ramos on this will do you no good.
This goes on for a good while, she keeps coming after Ramos and at one point tells him not to talk to her and he leans back into his position, but then she keeps on going. Right before the next match is about to start she calls him a thief, and I know for a fact that Ramos has heard worse things said to him, but I believe that he gave her the harassment penalty because of the entire affair. I mean she was chirping this guy for the entire break, what'd you want him to do? Referees in any sport can not let players (no matter how good they are) feel like they are above their authority. That's not how sports work.
Now, since this is Williams third penalty she has now lost an entire game (that's pretty big) and now this is where Williams starts her speech about sexism. In her defense, you might be able to find some pretty convincing evidence that some umpires do in fact officiate differently based upon sex.
But in the case of Ramos, he's pretty consistent with penalizing all genders. In the 2018 Wimbledon Novak Djokovic complained to him about breaking his racket and was given a penalty. In the 2016 Olympics he gave Andy Murray a penalty because he said "stupid umpiring," he was also given a penalty. He even told Venus Williams to have her coach stop giving her hand signals (you'd think her own sister would tell her about this). Ramos has a history of penalizing the best players on the biggest stages, so this is just another day on the job for him.
Think about this Osaka is just 20 years old, grew up loving Serena Williams, and now is about to dethrone her idol and win her very first US Open. Oh and by the way she's the first Japanese player MALE OR FEMALE to EVER WIN a grand slam final. Safe to say this is a big moment in her life. Now it will be replaced with the memory of controversy and an entire stadium booing a 20-year-old girl for upsetting one of the greatest tennis players ever. It got so bad that she had to apologize for her victory.
Everyone in the crowd who booed this girl for doing absolutely nothing wrong should be ashamed of themselves. And so should Serena Williams.