Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player in tennis history to win a Grand Slam, but her emphatic 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 cried tears of joy, but she was instead 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 you 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 let’s be positive.
“No more booing!”
An overwhelmed Osaka could hardly speak in her interview, and was humble in her approach.
“I know that everyone was 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.
Fans on social media couldn’t hep but feel for Osaka as she was simply caught in the middle of an ugly situation.
Osaka crying on the podium because all of the fans are booing is just heartbreaking. This is terrible all around. What a shame.
— Kim Adams (@Kim_Adams1) September 8, 2018
Some cold-blooded stuff from Osaka there. Incredible – first Grand Slam title by beating Serena in the finals. #USOpen
— Saša Ozmo (@ozmo_sasa) September 8, 2018
Spare a thought for Naomi Osaka. Playing her hero, trying to win a first Slam, caught in the middle of all this.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) September 8, 2018
Serena finally coming back to her senses by praising Osaka to a crowd that is about to spoil Osaka’s moment.
— Carole Bouchard (@carole_bouchard) September 8, 2018
This a damn shame. The got Osaka up here apologizing for winning. Smh… #UsOpen
— Mr. Duval (@mista_duval) September 8, 2018
Williams comforting and embracing Osaka, the youngster sharing a stage with a legend. The legend. Serena is incredible. I'd have fled the building. She's cheering the new champion.
— Natasha Joseph (@TashJoeZA) September 8, 2018
Trailing in the second set, Williams received a game penalty after being involved in a verbal altercation with umpire Carlos Ramos at a change of ends, after previous code violations for coaching and then smashing her racquet.
The 6-2 6-4 win for 20-year-old Osaka in her first major final took one hour and 19 minutes.