Serena Williams Explodes After US Open Dispute With Umpire

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Women’s tennis star Serena Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism after a series of penalties played a role in her Saturday 6-2, 6-4 U.S. Open Finals loss to Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

The penalties all occurred in the second set. The first, a warning about receiving illegal coaching, came after the first game when her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, appeared to gesture for her to move closer to the net. The warning resulted in an emotional Williams telling the umpire that she “doesn’t cheat to win.”

“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know,” she told the umpire. “I can understand how you made that thought, but I don’t cheat.”

The second penalty cost Williams a point when she slammed and broke her racket after losing her serve in game five.

“I don’t cheat and I never have in my life!” Williams said after getting docked the point. “I didn’t get coaching, how can you say that? You owe me an apology. I have a daughter and I set what’s right for her … This is unbelievable!”

After Williams called the umpire a “thief,” she was docked an entire game. The penalty came with Osaka only two games from victory and resulted in a verbal explosion from Williams, including playing the “woman card.”

“There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things and because they’re a man, that doesn’t happen to them,” Williams said after the game, according to ESPN.

“You definitely can’t go back in time,” Williams said, responding to a question about what she would have changed about the match. “I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief because I thought he took a game from me. But I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things and I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. 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. I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and that want to express themselves and they want to be a strong woman. And they’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.”

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