Osaka won her first Grand Slam by beating the 23-time Grand Slam champion in straight sets on Saturday in Arthur Ashe Stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City. Williams got into a verbal exchange with chair umpire Carlos Ramos while being issued three code violations during the loss.
The crowd booed and yelled during the emotional moments as Williams fought back tears, calling Ramos a “thief” for taking away the match. Williams was penalized for receiving coaching, smashing her racquet on the ground and her slights toward Ramos.
When it came time for the trophy ceremony, the crowd continued to boo, dampening the moment for the 20-year-old Osaka. The young tennis star covered her face with her visor as Williams attempted to comfort her by putting her arm around her. Williams also whispered some words in Osaka’s ear as she shook her head and tried to smile.
“She said she was proud of me, and that I should know the crowd isn’t booing at me,” Osaka said Wednesday on Ellen. “I was really happy she said that.”
Osaka is the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam final on the men’s or women’s circuit.
“It was always my dream to play Serena in the U.S. Open final,” Osaka said when she received the trophy. “So I’m really glad I was able to do that. I’m really glad I was able to play with you. Thank you.”
Osaka is now ranked No. 7 in the world, up 12 spots from before the tournament. She ended the 2017 season ranked No. 68.