The US Open 2018 women’s final became popular due to the controversy between the umpire and Serena Williams. Whether this involved sexism or not, it is a whole other discussion which seems should be discussed by everyone, especially those who do not know enough of the sport, if we look at social media.
So, what really happened? Basically, Naomi Osaka was beating Williams fair and square, until the American player was warned and penalised after having done code violations which implied those consequences. In the end, the Japanese player was crowned champion, but what really got media attention was the confrontation between Serena and Carlos Ramos.
Let’s go down to the facts of this situation. Firstly, Carlos Ramos is known for being a stickler to the rules as well as an umpire who is not afraid to impose himself with big tennis personalities (Djokovic, Nadal and Murray).
Secondly, the umpire warned and penalised Serena always according to the rules in this final. Thirdly, Serena made the situation worse by breaking her racket and attacking Ramos verbally, and these actions were entirely her responsibility.
Taking these arguments into account, the conclusion is: Naomi Osaka has beaten Serena Williams fair and square, and she deserves all the credit. Honestly, the rest is just a media circus. Williams made this about sexism, when she started saying “because I am a woman”.
Don’t get me wrong, Serena Williams is nevertheless a great champion and inspiration for women, tennis players and mothers. Still, she is not god-like, she is human. And we humans make mistakes and have bad days.
Regardless of that, we should praise above all Naomi Osaka for her great performance and impeccable attitude. The 20-year-old Japanese player came to her first Grand Slam finals to beat one of the best female tennis players ever.
Naomi kept her cool throughout the whole controversial moment to achieve the trophy which made her the first Japanese tennis player to ever do it. In the ceremony she even said “I’m sorry it had to end like this”, which shows her genuine kindness.
Osaka, who was born to a Haitian father and a Japanese mother, became a role model for Asian tennis players. From now on, there are young Japanese girls dreaming of becoming “the next Naomi”. And these situations, usually increase the amount of people who practice tennis, logically.
To conclude, this last perspective is what should stand out from this event: the fact that a record got broken by a young Naomi Osaka and a new role model appears in the sports scheme of Japan. Won’t this have a much more interesting impact in the future rather than the controversy?