Naomi Osaka, the winner of the 2018 US Open was ironically robbed of her victory amidst explosions and controversy around Serena Williams’ ejection from the game.
The twenty-year-old tennis star beat Williams 6-4 on Saturday; partly from skill and partly by default.
While Osaka has idolized Williams throughout her childhood and career, things took an ugly turn as the game continued. Her dreams of playing the tennis legend fair- and square were crushed when Williams’ frustration with the pressure of competition, accusations of being coached during the match, and her explosion at the umpire led to the ultimate penalty of a lost game and a $17,000 fine.
The audience erupted into boos in support of Williams, neglecting to acknowledge and congratulate the young, hopeful Osaka.
As she took to the podium to accept her trophy for her first big win at the Grand Slam, Osaka felt obligated to apologize. She bawled, “I’m sorry.”
Disappointment was written all over her face. As a young, professional athlete she was hoping for a full match to earn her title as a champ. Although she has beaten Williams before, it’s without question that there’s a shadow of a doubt in the court of public opinion as to whether or not she would have won the match if Serena hadn’t been penalized. This moment of glory has turned into a young athlete’s worst nightmare.
The excitement for the moment she worked all her life for had been taken away from her by conflict and ego on Williams’ behalf.
Not only was the young tennis prodigy stripped of her winning moment. Her win has been overshadowed with media frenzy around Serena Williams’ behavior.
Somehow, this level of debauchery has been transformed into a political conversation about feminism. Headlines all over the internet read, “Why do men get away with things in tennis that women don’t?”
In reality despite what the next man does, rules are rules. No matter how good she may be at the game, no matter how familiar she may be with the higher-ups, no matter how many trophies she has, Williams doesn’t seem to accept the fact that she will be held accountable for her actions on the court.Contests by Rewards Fuel