But rather than the spotlight being on Osaka, the first Haitian-Japanese woman to win the trophy, instead it was on the sexism row which erupted after the umpire Carlos Ramos gave Serena repeated penalties, allegedly due code violations, which cost her the game.
He accused Williams of coaching and racquet abuse, and she argued back, denouncing he was treating her unfairly for being a woman.
Osaka won, and when the crowd started booing during the awards ceremony, Williams stepped in to shush them so they wouldn’t take away this moment for her. And rightly so, why should she be punished for a man’s mistakes?
The controversy is still rife on Twitter, and many celebrities have come to Serena’s defence, but have very importantly changed the conversation.
Instead of giving the umpire anymore attention, they instead celebrated to powerful women who handled a quite frankly shitty event with dignity and grace.
Gigi Hadid said, ‘I’m hurting for S, but am inspired by both ladies’ class’, while Gabrielle Union tweeted, ‘All praise to both s @serenawilliams the best athlete the world has ever seen & @Naomi_Osaka_ demonstrating #BlackGirlMagic & fierce determination. Very proud.’
Tennis legend Billie Jean King also came to their defence, saying ‘hen 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.’