Mouratoglou was interviewed by ESPN’s Pam Shriver after Williams lost the US Open finals to Naomi Osaka on Saturday and pointed out the selective enforcement of the coaching violation by chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
Coaching violation: Ramos gave Serena a code violation for coaching in the second game of the second set.
She said: “Also, how many times do coaches actually get warnings for coaching?” Afterward, she spoke about why she called Ramos a thief and how she had cited Olympia in telling him on the court, “I don’t cheat to win”. And as Williams herself insisted, she never looked for the signals, never saw the signals, and across all of her decades of record-setting tennis, has never availed of such coaching even when the rules allowed. “I said, ‘I want to be like her'”.
A win away from what would be a fairytale ending to her first Slam season since becoming a mother almost 12 months ago, it’s important to understand just how astounding Serena’s last two months have been.
With Osaka leading 4-3, Williams told the umpire: “You are a liar”.
When it was Osaka’s turn she seemed at a loss.
USA great Billie Jean King was among those coming down hard on Serena’s side in her claim that chair umpire Carlos Ramos penalized her for comments that a male player could have gotten away with. “You owe me an apology”.
The 20-year-old, who had dropped just one set en route to her first Grand Slam final on Saturday, prevailed 6-2, 6-4 in a dramatic match.
A match with history at stake for both players got off to a tense start.
After a confident hold punctuated by a 106 miles per hour ace Osaka broke again to lead 4-1, silencing the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd. The money comes out of her prize money of $1.85 million as the runner-up.
“He alleged that I was cheating”, Serena said later, “and I wasn’t cheating”.
The tranquillity didn’t last long. But as she and Williams stood for the trophy presentation, the crowd loudly booed and jeered, protesting what they felt was unfair treatment leveled against Williams. Honestly, there’s a lot I can learn from her from this match. “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose”. Serena laughed about her daughter’s shoes as she filmed the moment, asking Olympia where she’d gotten “them shoes”. You have only to watch the US Open press conference footage – highlighted by the director Ava DuVernay – when yet another journalist asked Osaka to explain her Haitian-Japanese heritage, to be reminded of how women of colour have to justify their existence in the sport.
“The star of the show has been once again the chair umpire”.
Serena Williams’s latest US Open journey began with a defense of her wardrobe.