Serena Williams was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire “a thief” during an argument as the U.S. Open women’s final. 


Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, demanding an apology after he initially issued a warning for a code violation in the second set’s second game for receiving coaching, which is not allowed during Grand Slam matches. Williams objected right away, saying she would never cheat. 


 “I have never cheated in my life!” Williams said. “You owe me an apology.” She resumed arguing with Ramos later, saying, “You stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too.” He responded by issuing a third code violation, which results in a lost game. That made it 5-3 for Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old who is the first player from Japan to win a major singles tennis title. 


During the trophy ceremony in Arthur Ashe Stadium, thousands of fans jeered repeatedly, and both Osaka and Williams cried with Williams putting an arm around Osaka’s shoulder and telling the crowd: “I know you guys were here rooting, and I was rooting, too, but let’s make this the best moment we can. ... We’re going to get through this and let’s be positive. So congratulations, Naomi. No more booing.”

Added Williams, with a laugh: “I really hope to continue to go and play here again. We’ll see.”