There’s never been anything like it at the U.S. Open. Naomi Osaka won her first Grand Slam singles title and Serena Williams lost her chance for a record-tying 24th victory, but the awards ceremony was destroyed by the loud jeers that rained down on the distraught winner and loser.
Williams had been penalized three times by the chair umpire, leading to a game penalty.
One of the penalties was for receiving coaching, a violation she vigorously denied.
A second was for breaking a racket, and the third for “verbal abuse.”
Williams and many of her fans said all three were trivial actions that male players routinely get away with.
Many agreed saying “Male athletes get points for passion when they curse, scream, taunt and gesture. Serena Williams did none of that yet lost a historic tennis title.”
Retired tennis champion Billie Jean King was among those who leapt to support Williams, saying: “When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ and there are no repercussions.