Serena Williams lost one of the most emotional games of her life against twenty year old Naomi Osaka. Williams could have potentially won her twenty-fourth Grand Slam, setting a world record in women’s tennis. This game was seen worldwide and caused questions to be asked about on whether there is sexism and racism in professional tennis.
During the match, the chair umpire looked over at Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, and saw him making gestures. These gestures looked like coaching signals to the umpire and gave this a code violation; this was Serena’s first warning. She got this warning because there should be no coaching during matches or even during warm-ups. Serena was enraged and smashed her racket on the floor. Her actions caused a point penalty. Serena got more enraged and aggravated that she yelled at the umpire that he “stole her point”. She said that there was no reason for her to lie and cheat. She told the umpire with a quivering but demanding voice,”You are a liar. You will never be on a court of mine as long as you live. When are you going to give me my apology? Say you are sorry!” This made Serena get her third penalty. This penalty is what made a huge conflict in sports politics. When watching Osaka stand on the podium, you can hear the crowds roar with boos not towards her but towards the umpire. The umpires calls immediately made activists and fans upset with the way he was treating her.
Serena Williams is one of the most famous tennis players of this generation and Serena was expected to win. Even Osaka, Serena’s competitor, said that she looked up to Williams very much, and this match was one in her dreams. However, this dream matched caused both of the players in sorrowful tears.
After William’s loss there were many interviews with her going over the reasons for her loss. In an interview with the Us Open Serena said, “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. And 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 took a game from a man because they said thief.” These opinions from Serena have been seen worldwide and since the increase in active feminist, people are upset and tired of these actions being played against women. These penalties could have also been a racist view towards Williams. Since the majority of people we have seen yelling at umpires and getting no punishment in return are white males.
Stephen A Smith told his opinion on the situation. He stated that, “Carlos Ramos was a bit excessive, I think there is a level of reverence and deliverance that should be accorded to the great Serena Williams. All that she’s done for tennis, all of her accomplishments, etc. To the point where he could have he could have issued her warnings before, costing her a game and you know confiscating a game. And a point. Having said all of that, I don’t condone the actions of Serena Williams. She doesn’t get to be completely absolved in all of this. She had a temper tantrum, Naomi Osaka was giving her the business, let’s be clear about that. And I think she (Osaka) would have won anyway. But more importantly than that, Serena’s argument about sexism was implacable.” This commentary by Smith shows someone who is a Serena fan but does not agree with the call. He thinks that Serena was just acting this way because Osaka was playing her game. He thinks that because Serena was loosing it caused her to get out of hand and to yell.