It was the second game of the second set Saturday, in a packed Arthur Ashe Stadium, and Williams' bid for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title already was in real trouble because she was being outplayed by first-time major finalist Naomi Osaka.
Serena Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief during an extended argument as the U.S. Open women's final descended into chaos, with fans booing and play delayed before Naomi Osaka wrapped up a 6-2, 6-4 victory for her first Grand Slam title.
The tournament referee's office Sunday docked Williams $10,000 for "verbal abuse" of chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
Seemingly motivated by the violation, Williams went on a mini-run to take a 3-2 lead, but her momentum was stymied after Osaka produced a critical serve break.
The six-times U.S. Open champion, who has since been fined $17,000 by the United States Tennis Association for the violations, vigorously disputed each during the match.
It all started when Carlos Ramos, the chair umpire, issued Williams a code violation for receiving illegal coaching from the sidelines. As Osaka stood on the winner's podium after the match, crowd members booed.
"You owe me an apology, I have never cheated in my life", Williams yelled.
Australia's Margaret Court, the Wimbledon Ladies champion, in action against America's Billie Jean King in the final of the Women's single's. Lahyani climbed out of his chair during a changeover, stood with hands on knees, and spoke to Kyrgios, saying, among other things, "I want to help you".
"Your question is making me emotional", she told a reporter during the post-match press conference.
"She played an unbelievable match". "I really didn't hear anything that was going on".
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According to the official Grand Slam rule book, a first infraction gets a warning, a second offence results in a point penalty while a third brings about a game penalty.
"I've seen other men call other umpires several things and I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff, and for me to say thief and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark". While Williams was adamant that she never receives coaching, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged afterward that he did try to signal Williams, but didn't think she had seen him.
"Williams" only message Saturday night was a brief Instagram video of her 1-year-old daughter Olympia, wearing a miniature version of her mom's tutu and little sneakers, toddling with her beloved doll, Qai Qai.
"Well, I mean, I am honest, I was coaching", Mouratoglou said in an interview with ESPN, adding, "I don't think she looked at me, that's why she didn't even think I was, but I was".
"Her first Grand Slam win has been marred in some way".
"I would tell them, "Don't do it", she said with a laugh at the idea of being someone's idol.
"She is one of the most exciting players on the tour".
Here's what the big-picture takeaway should be: Tennis needs a commissioner to oversee all aspects of the sport, someone to make sure there is consistency in the rules and the way they are applied.
"If they can't adhere to the rules then they will have to allow the coaching because we can't have things like this outburst anymore".
Most of the sport's infamous brats have been men, and they have often been punished for bad behaviour. To lose a game for saying that, it's not fair.