Mother of all meltdowns: Did Serena overstep the mark?

Mother of all meltdowns: Did Serena overstep the mark?

A raging Serena Williams went into meltdown on her way to losing a controversial women's final at the US Open at Flushing Meadows last night.

While Williams yelled at umpire Carlos Ramos for a series of code violations, and protested to tournament referee Brian Earley and grand slam supervisor Donna Kelso, Osaka kept her head down and focused completely on the next point.

The sanction brought out tearful emotions from Serena and could be seen crying during the short break before Naomi served for the match to win her first record Grand Slam as a Japanese player. "I don't cheat to win". She then addressed Williams directly: "I'm really glad I was able to play with you".

"But I was, like 100 percent of the coaches in 100 percent of the matches so we have to stop this hypocritical thing".

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe congratulated Ms Osaka on Twitter, thanking her for "giving Japan a boost of inspiration at this time of hardship" - an apparent reference to last week's Hokkaido natural disaster in northern Japan that killed more than 20 people.

"I'm here to fight for women's rights and women's equality", she said later.

"I have never cheated in my life!"

Once she realised she had been handed a point penalty, she continued to berate Ramos, branding him a "thief" and a "liar".

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Serena Williams has been fined a total of £13,156 for three code violations during the US Open final. "I said, 'I want to be like her'".

Osaka, playing in her first major final against a 23-time Grand Slam champion she idolized as a child, capped an outstanding two weeks in which she also beat 2017 runner-up Madison Keys by simply outplaying her hero.

After Osaka's victory, the crowd erupted, with many booing in defense of Williams. I don't think [Serena] looked at me, so that's why she didn't think I was (coaching).

But there was Williams on the court asking the crowd to turn positive, replacing those boos with applause, doing her best to change the tone of what had become such an emotionally conflicted day.

But she didn't walk back her claim that sexism played a role.

Asked on ESPN after the match whether she had been helped by having played Serena earlier this year in Miami, Osaka smiled and said she already knew Serena's game very well from watching her so closely for so many years-she even "did a whole report on her in third grade". She was then forced to forfeit an entire game. We're going to get through this, and let's be positive.

At the trophy ceremony, both players put the drama behind them, but after the game Williams took another stand against the official's actions.

"You know how many other men do things - they do much worse than that". I feel like you would be proud but at the same time it would make you want to work harder.

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