In a shocking turn of events, Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams in straight sets to win the 2018 US Open.
The 2018 US Open women’s final was filled with more drama than the scoreline would indicate. In a shocking upset, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam title against 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams, in straight sets (6-2, 6-4). Unfortunately, that is not the main story in this match.
One of the main stories from this tournament is going to be what happened between Serena and chair umpire Carlos Ramos. Serena ended up getting three violations in this match, which cost her a game in the second set.
The first violation came when Serena’s coaching box was called for a coaching violation since coaching is not allowed during the match. Here is what Serena told Ramos courtesy of Ben Rothenberg from the New York Times
Serena to chair umpire Carlos Ramos after getting a coaching violation:
"I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose. I'm just letting you know."#usopen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 8, 2018
Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, ended up telling ESPN’s Pam Shriver after the match that he had never been called for a coaching violation in his entire career.
When Osaka broke back to put the match back on serve in the second set, 3-2, Serena slammed her racket and broke it, which ended up being a point violation on the next game. Well, let’s just say it didn’t stop there.
After Serena held serve to make it 4-3 in the second set, she called Ramos a thief for taking the point away from her. Ramos called it verbal abuse and since it was a third code violation, it was a game penalty, which you don’t see often in a Grand Slam final.
That penalty gave Osaka a 5-3 lead in the set. Serena held serve at love the following game, but Osaka would finish it out on her serve. Here was match point:
The Pride of ??!@Naomi_Osaka_ defeats Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title!#USOpen pic.twitter.com/sNilrZOaNU
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2018
Outside of what happened with Serena, Osaka dominated this match from start-to-finish against the player she grew up rooting for. She had six aces and she won 72 percent of her first serves. She was able to break Serena’s serve nearly every chance she had as she went 4-for-5 on break points.
For a player that was in her first Grand Slam final, it was impressive to watch Osaka not show any signs of being nervous and she was able to dominate with her serve while Serena had six double faults and only 55 percent of her first serves landed in.
It is a shame that Osaka’s first Grand Slam win is going to be overshadowed by what happened as the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd kept booing during the ceremony until Serena told them to stop in her interview with Tom Rinaldi from ESPN.
For Osaka, it is a moment that could propel her career as her groundstrokes and first serve could lead to many more Slams for her in the future.
Meanwhile, for Serena, it adds to more bad memories she has had on that court, such as the 2009 semifinals against Kim Clijsters during a foot fault violation or in 2011 when she called the umpire “unattractive inside and a loser” after a code violation in the final against Samantha Stosur.
In the end, Osaka deserves all the credit for her outstanding play. Not only did she defeat one of the best tennis players of all-time, but she dominated the match.