Osaka made headlines this week for her part in the Serena Williams controversy that threatened to overshadow Japan's first Grand Slam singles victory. Williams also was asked about what O'Hagan termed "epic comebacks" during her 20-year tennis career, including having a baby a little more than a year ago.
"She said that she was proud of me and that I should know that the crowd wasn't booing at me", Osaka said. However, many experts attributed the win to the fact that Serena, who had just returned to competitive tennis following an 8-month long maternity break, was still working to get back to top form.
In her first interview addressing the controversial U.S. Open final, Serena Williams insisted she did not receive coaching during the match despite what her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, said following her loss.
According to Associated Press journalist Andrew Dampf, US Tennis Association head Katrina Adams, who had fiercely supported Williams, was heard apologizing to Ramos at the draw for the Davis Cup semis. Like her sister, Venus denied she had cheated.
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"I guess I'd like to hang out with my sister - I haven't seen her since Wimbledon", said Osaka, who has become an unlikely hero in a country still reeling after a summer of deadly typhoons and earthquakes. She was called on three violations over the course of the match. You owe me an apology.
"In comparison, I never saw (Rafael) Nadal shouting like that with an umpire".
The 36-year-old had already had a point penalty for smashing her racquet and a code violation for coaching when she was penalised further for calling Ramos a "thief" and a "liar" in NY. You're a thief too.
Williams doubled down after the match, believing that Ramos' docking her a game for verbal abuse was tantamount to sexism.
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"Do you know how many other men do things that are much worse than that?" While she continued to play and even won a game, Serena never fully-recovered from the altercation, and soon after, the tournament was over.
The match ended in chaos, though, with the NY crowd booing.
Over the course of the fortnight, Osaka defeated Laura Siegemund, Julia Glushko, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Aryna Sabalenka, Lesia Tsurenko and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys to claim her place in the final.
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