Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams in the U.S. Open tennis championship on Saturday and became the first Japanese player to ever win a title in the Grand Slam.
Osaka’s win made front page news headlines and is currently a trending topic on various news sites as well as social media platforms. However, her win was slightly overshadowed by Serana’s outbursts.
Naomi Osaka was born and raised in Japan and her family later moved to the US when she was three years old. She currently holds dual citizenship and has advanced tremendously in her career, rising to the seventh best in the world rankings after her latest win in New York.
Despite her dual citizenship status, Osaka has chosen to compete for the Japanese Tennis Association. Osaka’s win at the Grand Slam has earned her national admiration in Japan. Her birth country now appears ready to accept her as Japanese even with her mixed race, which still remains a sensitive issue in Japan today.
Japan’s largest newspaper, Yomiuri, called Osaka a “new heroine that Japan is proud of.” The newspaper described her appeal as being extremely strong on the tennis court, but innocent off the court.
On another note, Serena Williams outbursts caused a bit of a stir. She was given a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and finally a game penalty for calling the umpire a “thief” and “a liar” .
During which, Osaka maintained calm composure. But she succumbed to pressure during the trophy presentation as comments and boos were made in relation to Serena Williams, aimed at the umpire’s decision to penalise her.
“I’m sorry it had to end like this,” a crying Osaka said as after she’d been presented with her trophy.
“It was always my dream to play Serena in the US Open finals so I am really glad I was able to do that.”
Williams argued against the Umpire’s ruling when she received a third violation resulting in a game penalty. The penalty meant a loss for Williams and put Osaka at an advantage to win the match.
After losing the match, Williams said, “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and women’s equality. And for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, made me feel like it was a sexist remark.”
Numerous supporters have criticised the umpire’s decision against Serena Williams. Additionally, male tennis players such as Andy Roddick and James Blake, also came out in support of Williams.
(2/2) When a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 9, 2018
Article sourced from VOA