Serena Williams Lost at U.S. Open and Called the Umpire a "Thief" Over Her Cheating Penalty

Serena Williams lost the 2018 U.S. Open after being hit with a penalty for cheating, which she disputes. She lost her cool and called out the umpire on the court.

2018 US Open - Day 13
(Image credit: Gary Gershoff)

In a shocking moment for fans, Serena Williams (opens in new tab) lost the U.S. Open Women’s Final against Naomi Osaka on Saturday. Even more shocking than the loss, however, were the penalties that preceded it and Serena's reaction after the fact.

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Serena Williams

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos gave Serena a violation for illegal coaching from her player box during the first set, People (opens in new tab) reports. Serena fired back immediately at the violation, telling Ramos, "I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know."

The tension between Serena and Ramos wasn't over there, however. The star athlete, who has been competing as a professional for 13 years and boasts an awe-inspiring 39 major titles, received the game penalty for a court violation. At this point, Serena lost her cool and went off on Ramos.

"You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live," she said.
"You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too!"

After the game, Serena refused to shake Ramos' hand, amidst boos from the crowd. At the post-match trophy ceremony, she put forth a more positive attitude, asking fans not to boo any more and praising her opponent's performance.

"Well, I don’t want to be rude, I don’t want to do questions," she said. "[Osaka] played well, this is her first Grand Slam. I know you guys were here rooting. Let’s make this the best moment we can. Let’s not boo anymore. We’re gonna get through this and we’re gonna be positive. No more booing!"

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.