Naomi Osaka Wins First Grand Slam for Japan

Naomi Osaka Wins First Grand Slam for Japan
Naomi Osaka Wins First Grand Slam for Japan

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam single title on Saturday as her idol Serena Williams angrily imploded, calling the chair umpire in the US Open final “a thief”.

Osaka, 20, triumphed 6-2, 6-4 in the match marred by Williams’s second set outburst as the American was enraged by umpire Carlos Ramos’s warning for receiving coaching from her box, AFP reported.

When a second code violation for racquet abuse was handed out to her -- along with a point penalty -- Williams exploded.

She tearfully accused the umpire of being a “thief” and angrily demanded an apology from the official.

“You’re attacking my character,” she said. “You will never, ever be on another court of mine. You are the liar,” she fumed and Ramos handed her a game penalty for a third violation -- verbal abuse -- that put Osaka one game from victory at 5-3 in the second set.

Williams won the next game, and continued her tearful remonstrations with a supervisor on the changeover.

But Osaka -- who displayed not only a stellar game but remarkable poise throughout -- held serve to seal a historic win for her country.

“It doesn’t really feel that real right now. Maybe in a few days I’ll realize what I’ve done,” said Osaka, adding that the noise was so great in Arthur Ashe Stadium, tennis stadium in Queens, New York, and her focus so single-minded that she was not fully aware of the escalating controversy.

Williams, seeking a first Grand Slam title since the birth of her daughter Olympia last September, was denied a 24th Grand Slam title that would have matched Margaret Court’s all-time record.

As the pro-Williams crowed booed the trophy ceremony announcer, Osaka was tearing up herself, but Williams urged the spectators to show the young champion respect.

Williams’ outburst overshadowed an outstanding performance from Osaka, who made her second career title a Grand Slam after winning her first at Indian Wells in March.


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