Serena argues, then loses US Open women’s singles crown
By HOWARD FENDRICH
AP Tennis Writer
NEW YORK — Serena Williams was penalized 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 win for her first Grand Slam title.
The biggest issue for Williams Saturday was being 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 who idolizes the 36-year-old American.
During the trophy ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium, thousands of fans jeered repeatedly, and both Osaka and Williams cried.
Williams, going for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam trophy, 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.”
It was the third high-profile conflict with an official for Williams at Flushing Meadows, following tirades in 2009 and 2011.
Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, demanding an apology after he initially issued a warning for receiving coaching.