This is not how major championships are supposed to end.
In case you missed the women’s final of the US Open, 20-year-old Naomi Osaka won her first major championship by upsetting Serena Williams in the final match. But no matter who you were rooting for, the air of celebration that usually follows such a huge tournament has been muted courtesy of the dramatic actions of the umpire.
Naomi won the first set but was momentarily trailing in the second when the umpire stopped the match to issue a warning to Serena. It appears — and was later confirmed — that Serena’s coach was giving her an instruction from the stands. That’s technically against the rules, but it isn’t usually enforced so long as the instruction is subtle.
This understandably infuriated Serena, who lost her cool and smashed her racket into the ground soon after. For that, the umpire docked her a point in the game. Then Serena exploded and spent several minutes chewing out the umpire and demanding an apology. That’s when the referee penalized her a full game point for verbal abuse, giving Naomi a decisive advantage in the match.
The controversy has been widely debated. Was Serena out of line, or was this umpire being unreasonable? At least on Twitter, the answer is clear: The umpire was on a power trip.
Actress and talk show host Vivica A. Fox wrote “REF U SUCK!! Punk move!” Another tweet put it perfectly: “Serena is a champion & doesn’t deserve it- the same way that Naomi is a champion & doesn’t deserve this atmosphere for her first GS title!” Suffice to say, the social media scene is strongly backing Serena on this issue.
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