Naomi Osaka claimed the US Open with a 6-2 6-4 win over Serena Williams in a match in which the American repeatedly lost her cool. Breaks of serve in the third and fifth games saw the Japanese dominate the opening set and despite being broken in the fourth game of the second, Osaka kept her composure to level straight away and saw out the victory to become the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam.
The result marks her maiden Grand Slam triumph but, unfortunately, it was Williams’ actions that took the headlines.
Chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, the 36-year-old repeatedly clashed with umpire Carlos Ramos at Flushing Meadows.
Williams was given a code violation when the umpire judged that she had received coaching following a gesture by coach Patrick Mouratoglou, a situation the Frenchman subsequently admitted to, and was later docked a point for smashing a racket.
The atmosphere in the Arthur Ashe Stadium was becoming toxic and the American would not let it slide, confronting Ramos and accusing him of being a “liar” and demanding an apology.
That resulted in her being docked a game, leaving Osaka one game from the title and the Japanese eventually served out for glory.
Unfortunately the incidents overshadowed the 20-year-old’s brilliant and composed display and when speaking to the press, she admitted to mixed feelings about the result.
“It doesn’t really feel that real right now,” Osaka admitted in her post-match press conference. “I think maybe in a few days I’ll realize what I’ve done.
“Right now it just feels, like, I don’t know. Aside from the fact there’s a lot of press in this room, it feels just like another tournament.”