Serena Williams' US Open run for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam ended in controversy and boos from the crowd on Saturday in New York, with Williams falling to Naomi Osaka 6-2, 6-4 following a controversial game penalty in the second set.
During that second set, Williams was warned because her coach was allegedly making hand signals, which results in code violation. Williams was upset by the violation, claiming that her coach was simply giving her a thumbs up and demanding an apology from chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
"You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life! I have a daughter and I stand for what's right for her," Williams told Ramos on the court. "I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose."
Williams remained upset and later smashed her racket on the court, which resulted in another violation -- this time resulting in a point penalty. This made the 36-year-old Williams even more upset, leading to her further chastising Ramos -- including calling him a "thief." Eventually, a full game penalty was leveled against Williams.
It wound up being an extremely costly ordeal for Williams, who was attempting to play herself back into the match. Shortly after the incident, she dropped the second set and Osaka took home her first Grand Slam title.
The match was followed by a very awkward and very surreal ceremony that featured both competitors looking solemn and upset. Williams attempted to downplay the controversy and console Osaka, who has long called Serena her idol, but the crowd booed in protest of the officiating during the match.
It's hard not to feel bad for the 20-year-old Osaka, who should have been basking in the glory of her first Grand Slam title. Instead, she had to deal with boos from the crowd during the ceremony as they protested the officiating. Osaka was clearly uncomfortable and a little unnerved with how things played out, which is a shame considering how well she played on Saturday.