SAU Buzz

Controversy takes center stage at Ashe Stadium

by Daniel Rohlf
Posted on Oct 04, 2018

Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese singles player to win a major championship. She defeated Serena Williams to win the 2018 U.S. Open. However, that was not the main takeaway from the match. After the match, the main discussion was the controversy surrounding Serena Williams and Chair Umpire Carlos Ramos.

Osaka got off to a hot start and was able to win the first set by a score of 6-2. During the second set was when the controversy started for Williams.

Trailing 1-0, Williams was assessed a code violation warning for receiving coaching during the match. Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglu, appeared to give Williams signals during the match. Mouratoglu admitted after the match to giving signals.

Later in the set, Williams was assessed a second code violation. She was up 3-1 and was up 30-15 in her service game. Serena then had back to back double faults and a backhand that went into the net. After that game, Williams smashed her racquet. Being as this was the second code violation, Williams was assessed a point penalty by Carlos Ramos.

Following this, Osaka was able to reel off three consecutive games to take a 4-3 lead in the second set. Williams was then assessed a game penalty for verbal abuse towards the chair umpire.

St. Ambrose Men’s Tennis coach John Rohlf stresses the importance of being of control of emotions.

“I always stress to the players the importance of conducting themselves in the best way possible and controlling what they can control, and not worrying about the rest,” Rohlf said. “Emotions can run high during a match, but it’s important to always remain in control of your actions.”

Following the match, many people took to Twitter to discuss what happened during the match. One of those people was former world number one Andy Roddick. He admitted he has said worse and not gotten a warning. He also said there is a lack of consistency on tour.

“I’ve seen an umpire borderline coach a player up, and another dock a game for being called a thief in the same tourney,” Roddick said via Twitter. “There needs to be some continuity in the future. I’ve regrettably said worse and not gotten a game penalty.”

In the following days, Williams was hit with $17,000 in total fines. She was fined $3,000 for receiving coaching, $4,000 for racquet abuse, and $10,000 for verbal abuse towards the umpire.

In the men’s final, Novak Djokovic continued his impressive run of form to capture the title. He defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 to win his 14th major title, which is tied for sixth most all-time. This victory caps off an impressive summer for Djokovic, who previously won Wimbledon in July, and the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in August.