Naomi Osaka, 20 years old, just became the first player from Japan to win a Grand Slam.
Yet rather than cheer Osaka, the crowd, the commentators and US Open officials all expressed shock and grief that Serena Williams lost.
Osaka spent what should have been her victory lap in tears. It had been her childhood dream to make it to the US Open and possibly play against Williams, her idol, in the final.
It’s hard to recall a more unsportsmanlike event.
Here was a young girl who pulled off one of the greatest upsets ever, who fought for every point she earned, ashamed.
At the awards ceremony, Osaka covered her face with her black visor and cried. The crowd booed her. Katrina Adams, chairman and president of the USTA, opened the awards ceremony by denigrating the winner and lionizing Williams — whose ego, if anything, needs piercing.
“Perhaps it’s not the finish we were looking for today,” Adams said, “but Serena, you are a champion of all champions.” Addressing the crowd, Adams added, “This mama is a role model and respected by all.”
That’s not likely the case now, not after the world watched as Serena Williams had a series of epic meltdowns on the court, all sparked when the umpire warned her: No coaching from the side. Her coach was making visible hand signals.
“I don’t cheat to win,” Williams told him. “I’d rather lose.”
She couldn’t let it go, going back multiple times to berate the umpire. At one point she called him a thief.
“You stole a point from me!” she yelled.
After her loss, Williams’s coach admitted to ESPN that he had, in fact, been coaching from the stands, a code violation. The warning was fair.