Naomi Osaka's bombshell claim about Serena Williams incident

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·Sports Reporter
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US Open winner Naomi Osaka (pictured left) crying as Serena Williams (pictured right) embraces her.
Naomi Osaka (pictured left) has defended Serena Williams (pictured right) over the controversial moment in the 2018 US Open final. (Getty Images)

Naomi Osaka has hit out at the critics of Serena Williams following a highly controversial incident involving the pair during her maiden grand slam title.

Osaka won her first ever grand slam at the US Open in 2018, but the final was marred after it involved a heated argument between her opponent Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos.

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The umpire entered into a heated argument with the 23-time grand slam champion, before Serena accused him of sexism after she was docked a game for receiving three code violations.

Williams was fined more than $23,000 for the three code violations.

The argument left a cloud over Osaka's maiden grand slam as she was in tears on the podium still feeling the crowds tension to the incident.

But, after a number of years, Osaka has fervently defended Williams and said male stars have done so much worse but weren't painted in the same light.

"Definitely if a male player did that, it wouldn't have been so broadcasted," Osaka told podcast Victoria's Secret Vs Voices, during an interview with host Amanda de Cadenet.

"There's actually been male players that have done far worse, like literally last year and this year, and they don't get news reports at all.

"So I'm not sure if it's because Serena is Serena, or if people just wanted to write negative things. I definitely felt like I can't say that if we were both male players the outcome would have been the same way."

Carlos Ramos (pictured left) during the US Open final and (pictured right) Serena Williams gesturing towards the umpire.
Carlos Ramos (pictured left) and Serena Williams (pictured right) clashed during the 2018 US Open final. (Images: Getty Images)

She added: "But I do know that people are very interested in Serena and whatever she does is going to get news attention. And it was just unfortunate that it had to be that moment that caught a lot of people's interest."

Osaka defeated Williams 6-2, 6-4 in the 2018 final after the Japanese star was awarded a penalty game by Ramos, handing Osaka a 5-3 lead on her way to victory.

Osaka was booed during the awards ceremony, consoled by a tearful Williams, and told the crowd, "I'm sorry it had to end like this," later calling the moment "bittersweet."

Naomi Osaka's 2021 mental health battle

The Australian Open champion's comments on Williams come after a battle with mental health in 2021.

Osaka took time away from the game after withdrawing from the French Open after highlighting some of the detrimental effects press conferences can take on players, such as herself.

The World No.13 then missed Wimbledon and took another break after the US Open citing mental health reasons.

Osaka often uses her platform as one of the world's most recognised tennis players to speak out on social injustices.

Only recently, following Osaka's stand for better treatment of players, the WTA introduced a rule where female star's can opt out of face-to-face press conferences to take the pressure off.

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