I know we usually talk about basketball here but this definitely requires some attention. The greatest athlete ever was treated with the least amount of respect I’ve ever seen by someone of her stature. Granted, I’m not an avid tennis watcher but I’ve never seen anything like what took place earlier today. We really saw an umpire take a whole game away from a player in a Grand Slam final for calling him a thief. Disgraceful.
Let me start by saying that in no way does this take away from Naomi Osaka’s great performance. She played great. She dominated the first set and climbed out of a 3-1 hole in the second set. She looked well on her way to a championship victory. She played with poise and confidence against her idol. She deserved every bit of her win. Serena wanted her to get her recognition as well imploring the crowd to stop booing during the trophy presentations and celebrate the great tennis that was played moments before. All of the glory that should have been Osaka’s was overshadowed by the worst officiating in tennis history.
Serena couldn’t help but speak her mind when speaking to officials regarding the questionable ruling. She felt cheated and disrespected as she should have. I’ve seen several rackets broken and never seen a point taken away. I’ve heard profanity and insults used on the court and never seen anyone have to surrender a game as a result. Why now? Why Serena? Doesn’t make any sense to me. Didn’t make sense either to let her know that she wouldn’t be allowed to wear her trademark catsuit for the French Open next spring either but alas here we are. It’s not even like she just wants to be “cute”. There is a medical explanation for why she prefers to wear it. I’ve never seen a sport make life so difficult for it’s greatest player.
Now back to this “verbal abuse” crap. I have seen men let loose in fits of frustration. Never seen them get a warning let alone lose a game behind it. John McEnroe is pretty much a household name because of it. Serena eloquently and passionately defended herself and was punished to the full extent of the law. I hope Carlos Ramos feels better about himself. He was emotional and made a terrible decision in the heat of the moment. He tried to control the outcome of the situation instead of being objective and perform his duties as an umpire. I will not say that this alone cost Serena the match because as I said earlier, Osaka was playing beautifully, but it definitely made things exponentially more difficult for Serena.
All in all, what we saw was a travesty. A great match tarnished by a awful decision. And also a blatant double standard brought to the forefront of the game on its biggest stage. But in typical Serena fashion, she responded with class and dignity. She comforted Osaka and made sure she knew she had the support of her idol. In the moment, Serena was much more concerned with being mistreated. Flip the page to see her speaking with tournament officials about how she was wronged.