Serena Williams Controversy

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Serena Williams Controversy

: Controversial referee decisions strike uproar in U.S. Open final. On Sept. 9, 2018, Serena Williams was penalized by the chair umpire for illegal coaching. Williams argues that the decision was based on the fact that she is a woman, saying the same penalty wouldn’t be called against a man. Instead of focusing on the rightful winner Naomi Osaka, Williams took the spotlight away with her selfish claims.

: Controversial referee decisions strike uproar in U.S. Open final. On Sept. 9, 2018, Serena Williams was penalized by the chair umpire for illegal coaching. Williams argues that the decision was based on the fact that she is a woman, saying the same penalty wouldn’t be called against a man. Instead of focusing on the rightful winner Naomi Osaka, Williams took the spotlight away with her selfish claims.

Mimi Gaudiano

: Controversial referee decisions strike uproar in U.S. Open final. On Sept. 9, 2018, Serena Williams was penalized by the chair umpire for illegal coaching. Williams argues that the decision was based on the fact that she is a woman, saying the same penalty wouldn’t be called against a man. Instead of focusing on the rightful winner Naomi Osaka, Williams took the spotlight away with her selfish claims.

Mimi Gaudiano

Mimi Gaudiano

: Controversial referee decisions strike uproar in U.S. Open final. On Sept. 9, 2018, Serena Williams was penalized by the chair umpire for illegal coaching. Williams argues that the decision was based on the fact that she is a woman, saying the same penalty wouldn’t be called against a man. Instead of focusing on the rightful winner Naomi Osaka, Williams took the spotlight away with her selfish claims.

Gavin Herman, Staff Writer

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On Sept. 9, 2018, the final of the U.S. Open sparked intense controversy and amassed an incredible amount of attention. However, those who watched or heard about the final did not focus on the rightful victor of the match, but instead on the controversy concerning Serena Williams.

During the second set against her opponent, Naomi Osaka, Williams was accused of cheating by the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, as her coach appeared to be giving hand signals from the stands to propel his player to victory. According to Alex Abad-Santos, journalist for Vox, the referee simply called what he saw and penalized Williams for her coaches’ actions.

Even though this incident caused massive uproar, cheating is not actually uncommon in tennis. An avid tennis player, senior Kunal Bhargava says that he has experienced cheating often when playing, especially concerning bad referees. However, although many players cheat or attempt to cheat while on the court, Williams says, “I have never cheated in my life.” Williams persistently protested the umpires’ seemingly rash call which set her back to losing 5-3 instead of 4-3 in the set.

Despite Williams’ claims that she did not believe she was cheating, Mouratoglou, her personal coach, confessed to his actions of trying to coach his player.  During his post-match interview with ESPN, Mouratoglou states, “Well, I mean, I’m honest, I was coaching … I mean, I don’t think she looked at me, so that’s why she didn’t even think I was.” Even though Williams may not have seen her coach attempting to help, the referee did and he made the decision based on the rules of the game.

Some agree with the referee’s decision and some believe he was incorrect with his calls. Two tennis players, freshman Evan Chang and sophomore Lasya Neti, have conflicting opinions on the matter. Chang says, “The referee was simply doing his job and I think he was correct based on his personal judgement.” On the other side Neti, believes “the referee wasn’t wrong because Williams did not see her coach blatantly coaching her.”

As reported by CBSSports, the referee enforced further action toward Williams for racquet abuse and abuse of an official following the initial penalty, which cost her a point and a game off of her score. In addition to her loss, Williams received a $17,000 fine due to her various misconducts on the court.

Following the outcome of the match, Williams made some more controversial claims. According to Vox, Williams argued that the decisions of the umpire were made because she is a woman. She believes, “There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things, and because they are men, that doesn’t happen.” Since Williams was aiming for her historic 24th Grand Slam, it is fair to say her emotions were taking a hold of her actions, leading to her outbursts. In response to Williams’ claims, many people expressed their opinions on the matter, with some supporting her and many attacking her for involving sexism in such a matter.

Surprisingly, a lot of male tennis players came in support of Williams, saying they have done much worse and gotten away with it. Junior Nihal Sathi says, “The umpire wasn’t correct for penalizing Williams, but it wasn’t because of sexism.”

On the other hand, widespread media, including many Williams supporters, have turned against her because of her outburst and obvious lack of professionalism. According to The Telegraph, she even called the umpire “a liar” and “a thief.”

Serena Williams ended up losing the US Open against Naomi Osaka, but she completely stole the spotlight from the deserved winner. Some side with Williams, but many simply do not understand her viewpoint and making the ordeal a matter of sexism when the umpire was following tennis rules.