Serena Williams Controversial 2018 US Open Explained

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Serena Williams Controversial 2018 US Open Explained

Emma Walrath

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The final match of the 2018 US Open is going to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The match was played between Serena Williams, who was going for her 23rd Grand Slam title, and 20 year old Naomi Osaka, who is new to tennis. This was going to a historical match even without the major controversy around it.

Serena Williams’ coach during the first part gave her a hand gesture that qualified as coaching which is illegal during the US open. The referee called it and gave a point to Osaka because of the cheating penalty. Some say that these gestures are extremely common and that even Osaka’s coach was doing them but this is not confirmed.

Due to the point loss Serena became outraged and threw her racket down breaking it. This caused there to be another interaction between her and the referee. She then called him a thief, because he stole the point from her. She started to get emotional, saying that she would never cheat. Because of this she was then penalized for verbal abuse with a game loss.

Osaka then got a 6-2, 6-4 victory, winning her first grand slam title. Most experts say that Osaka was going to win either way, but the game was greatly delayed by all the problems.

The larger controversy is that the men in tennis can do far worse and get away with only having a warning, and many people have been pointing out those times on Twitter.

Others are saying that there is no sexism involved because that ref is known for being strong on the rules. There are times when he did not call men for the same thing, but there was other factors that con-volute whether this was the same situation.

Newspaper name, an Australian Publication, printed a cartoon of this event that is clearly racist from the exaggerated African American characters that Serena is shown with, to the fact that they completely white-washed Osaca, who is biracial.

This was a historic match in that it shows the possible double standard that has been there since the beginning of women in the sport. I personally don’t know if Serena was called because she is a woman, or a black woman, maybe it was just because she’s Serena Williams  and she is expected to be better than others. The spotlight has been taken away from the fact that Osaka, who idolizes Serena, won the 2018 US Open. The crowd boo-ed when she won which is unacceptable, even if there was discrimination that is not her fault. I would love to see how others feel, was this discrimination?