Serena Williams pleaded with the crowd to stop booing after Naomi Osaka wins the US Open
Naomi Osaka triumphed on Sunday, beating Serena Williams in the Women's Singles final at the US Open. This was undoubtedly an incredible moment for the winner, who said she has dreamed of playing Serena for years, as well as a historic moment - as she is the first tennis player from Japan to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.
She now sits at the position of seventh in the world ranking. Not bad for a 20-year-old.
Unfortunately, the headlines following her landmark win were not so much about the quality of play, but a disagreement between Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos.
First, Serena received a code violation for coaching, after her coach made gestures during the game. Williams claimed that she didn't even see the gestures to know what this penalty was for. "I just texted Patrick, like, 'what is he talking about?' Because we don't have signals," she said. "We have never discussed signals."
However, the real drama came after Williams called Ramos a "liar and a thief", for deducting points for violations she didn't believe she had committed. While it's common to see passionate players venting their frustration on court, arguing with rulings made by umpires in similar (or worse) ways, this instance was deemed worthy of giving Williams a game penalty - something which angered Williams even more.
After demanding an apology and debating whether the deductions were just, she continued to argue her point. "I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose," she said at one point. "I'm just letting you know."
However, despite the row on the court, Serena's anger was reserved solely for the officials who made and defended these decisions, rather than her opponent. In fact, Williams showed her support for Osaka, complimenting her skills on the court and making sure that any of her own supporters in the crowd don't take out their frustration on the winner of the match.
Speaking to the crowd after the game, she said:
"I know you guys were here rooting and I was rooting too but let's make this the best moment we can and we'll get through it, but let's give everyone the credit where credit's due and let's not boo anymore. We're gonna get through this, let's be positive.
"Congratulations Naomi! No more booing!
The image of Osaka with her cap drawn down over her face has gone viral itself, reflecting the bitter-sweet end to the match for the player. "I'm sorry it had to end like this," she told the crowd afterwards, before reflecting on how happy she is to be there.
"It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals, so I'm really glad I was able to do that and I'm really grateful I was able to play with you," she said to the crowd and to Serena, before nodding and adding: "thank you". You can see how far she's come in the last few years, as she approached her as a fan four years ago:
While there was definitely some more melodramatic aspects to the game, it's worth paying attention to Osaka's amazing performance on the pitch, and her utterly humble response to her win.