Fans say Serena Williams is an example of pure class after clash with U.S. Open umpire

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Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams to capture the 2018 U.S. Open title on Saturday, in a match that will likely be remembered for many reasons.

The 20-year-old Osaka captured her first Grand Slam title with the 6-2, 6-4 win. She also made history, becoming the first Japanese tennis player to win a major title.

Osaka’s win comes against the backdrop of a contentious second set, during which Williams got into several heated arguments with the chair umpire about penalties that ended up costing her a game and a point. Williams was given a warning for illegal coaching, which she vehemently contested. She committed her second violation of the tournament’s code of conduct when she smashed her racquet after losing a game.

A second code violation results in the loss of a point, but Williams disputed the ump’s assertion that her first warning was legitimate, arguing that she wasn’t the type of person who would cheat by illegally communicating with her coach. At least one former tennis pro leapt to her defense on Twitter.

Williams continued to demand an apology from the referee, and she ultimately called him a “thief” for unfairly robbing her of a point. He deemed that verbal abuse and charged her with her third code violation, meaning she’d be penalized a game.

Incredulous with that ruling, Williams argued that male tennis players have historically been able to get away with more, and they didn’t lose games as a result of their behavior. Many fans agreed.

The crowd in New York was clearly rooting for Williams to take the match, and fans loudly booed the umpire as well as other tournament officials. This reaction clouded what Osaka likely hoped would be a purely cheerful day, and Williams urged fans to stop booing so that Osaka could enjoy the moment she deserved.

The internet called that pure class.

Fans saw more examples of double standards for women beyond the exchanges between Williams and the chair umpire. One came when Osaka apologized to the crowd for beating the fan favorite and thanked everyone for watching her match.

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