The recently published biography of Naomi Osaka, penned by tennis expert Ben Rothenberg, has unveiled shocking revelations about Serena Williams discarding her runner-up recognition from the 2018 US Open after losing to the Japanese sensation.
At just 20 years old, Osaka astonished the tennis world with an impressive run at Flushing Meadows, ultimately securing her first Grand Slam title by defeating the 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the final (6-2, 6-4). She quickly became a prominent figure in the tournament, claiming victories that year over tennis stalwarts such as Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, and Simona Halep.
However, the most significant triumph came at the US Open, where Williams had the opportunity to equal Margaret Court as the all-time Grand Slam record holder. Osaka emerged victorious in a controversial match marked by heated exchanges between Serena and the umpire. The American received three code violations, with the last one costing her a game in the second set.
According to umpire Carlos Ramos' interpretation, Serena received coaching from her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, earning her the first warning. The second code violation occurred after she smashed her racket, resulting in a point deduction. Finally, Williams labeled the umpire a "thief," accusing him of "stealing a point," leading to a game deduction and emotional pleas for the supervisor.
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Osaka, unfazed by the drama, remained focused and stayed out of the altercation between the umpire and Williams. This ultimately worked in her favor as she secured the victory, marking the first of her four Grand Slam titles.
Rothenberg's recent biography on Osaka reveals that, behind closed doors, Serena showed her disdain for the runner-up trophy by allegedly discarding it in the trash: "Once she was behind closed doors, Serena made her feelings about the relic of her loss clear, dumping the platter into a trash can."
Despite an assistant's attempt to retrieve the trophy and return it to the multi-Grand Slam champion, Williams vehemently refused, stating, “I. Don’t. Play. For. Second. Place," as reported by Ben Rothenberg.