Serena Williams has defended her fiery outburst towards umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open grand final, labelling him a “sexist” for his “outrageous” call in her match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
The 36-year-old tennis superstar came out fighting during the final match, only to be beaten by her talented opponent 6-2 6-4.
However, it was the three code violations made against her throughout the match that have caused an upset for the American, who claims she was unfairly treated by umpire Ramos.
It began at the beginning of the first set when Osaka handed Williams her first code violation for getting instructions from her coach.
Denying she had received instructions, Williams started to get agitated, first protesting the violation before throwing her racket on the ground. This lead to the second code violation and a one point reduction from Ramos.
This only angered Williams more as she called the umpire a thief for taking the point away.
“I have never cheated in my life,” she said while on court. “I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her. I’ve never cheated and you owe me an apology.
“You will never be on another court of mine as long as you live. Say it. Say you’re sorry.
And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief.”
Following the outburst, Ramos docked a game from Williams, leaving the score at 3-5. From there Williams could not recover and Osaka claimed her victory.
Defending her outburst during the emotion-filled match, the talented mother has come out swinging, saying she is fighting for women’s right and equality.
“For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported she said.
“He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’. For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us to have equal – like Cornet should be able to take off her shirt without getting a fine. This is outrageous.”
Williams of course was referencing the sexism storm that was sparked after female French tennis player Alize Cornet was handed a code violation for quickly removing her shirt in her opening round loss to Johanna Larsson.
The tennis pro copped a warning from a chair umpire for readjusting her shirt, having noticed it was back to front.
US Open chiefs have since admitted they were wrong for the warning, and apologised in a public statement.