Serena Williams produced an epic meltdown at the US Open after “verbally abusing” the chair umpire.
Williams appeared to be guided by her coach early in the second set against Naomi Osaka, starting a fiery chain of events that was set to unfold.
The 36-year-old initially blew-up at Carlos Ramos after receiving a coaching violation, and approached him to set the record straight.
“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” Williams said.
“I’ve never got a coaching violation because I don’t cheat,” Williams added at the changeover.
Fans on social media witnessing the heated exchange knew Williams was in full game mode.
Serena just went OFF on Carlos Ramos for accusing her of receiving coaching. She is in serious game mode now. #USOpen
— Andrew Scaglione (@5NEWSAndrew) September 8, 2018
Wow!!!! “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.” Serena tells that to the chair umpire after suggestion that she was getting some coaching from the stands. #USOpen
— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) September 8, 2018
Rooting for Osaka here, but Serena dragging the chair umpire was kind of amazing 😂 #USOpen
— Denča (@DeniBartova) September 8, 2018
Serena to chair umpire Carlos Ramos after getting a coaching violation:
"I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose. I'm just letting you know."#usopen
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) September 8, 2018
“I didn’t cheat, I didn’t get coaching.
“I have never cheated in my life, I have a daughter and I stand for what is right.”
Williams was furious in the second set after receiving a second violation for smashing her racquet on the court – and demanded an apology from the umpire.
Due to incurring the second conduct violation, Williams was slapped with a point penalty and fumed as she started the sixth game of the set already down 0-15.
To make matters worse for the 23-time Grand Slam champ, a third penalty for calling the umpire a “thief” handed Osaka a free game.
“You stole a point from me, you’re a thief too,” Williams said.
“But I’m not a cheater, I told you to apologise to me.
“There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things and that doesn’t happen to them.
“Because I’m a woman you’re gonna take this away from me.”
‘Heartbreaking’: Osaka brought to tears as fans boo
Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player in tennis history to win a Grand Slam, but her victory was overshadowed by controversy.
Fans booed the start of the US Open presentation ceremony, outraged at seeing Serena Williams lose in bizarre circumstances.
The 20-year-old should have been brought to tears of joy, but was instead sadly overwhelmed by a chorus of boos.
Despite Williams being the talking point of the match due to her fiery blow-up with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, she showed her class by turning the spotlight back onto her young opponent.
“I just want to tell you guys she played well and this is her first Grand Slam,” an emotional Williams said at the presentation.
“I know yo guys were here rooting for me, and we’ll get through it.
“Lets give everyone the credit where credit is due.
“Lets not boo anymore, and lets be positive.
“No more booing!”
An overwhelmed Osaka could hardly speak after being interviewed following her historic victory, and was humble in her approach.
“I know that everyone as cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” Osaka said.
“I just want to say thank you for watching the match.
“It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals.”
Osaka has held her nerve to beat Serena Williams in a controversial US Open final to become the first Japanese player to win a grand slam singles title.
The 6-2 6-4 win for 20-year-old Osaka in her first major final took one hour and 19 minutes.