No spam ever. Unsubscribe in one click. By submitting your email address, you indicate your consent to receiving email marketing messages from us.

Serena reveals written apology to Osaka from 2018 U.S. Open final - 'Days passed and I still couldn't find peace'

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 10 Jul 2019
  • Serena pens in-depth essay for Harper's Bazaar
  • The legendary American wrote an apologetic message to Osaka following the 2018 U.S. Open final
Serena consoles Osaka during the 2018 U.S. Open trophy presentation (PA Images)

Serena Williams has opened up about her infamous 2018 U.S. Open defeat to Naomi Osaka in a lengthy and heartfelt piece penned for Harper’s Bazaar.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

The in-depth and self-written essay, which was released in the middle of Serena’s three-set Wimbledon quarter-final victory over Alison Riske on Tuesday, details how the 23-time major champion struggled to ‘find peace’ in the aftermath of her controversial loss to Osaka in last year’s U.S. Open final.

Serena accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism and branded him a ‘thief’ for enforcing rules that ultimately ended up with the American being handed three separate code violations. Serena’s explosive outburst towards Ramos overshadowed Osaka’s maiden Grand Slam triumph as the Japanese fought back tears during the presentation ceremony.

“Days passed, and I still couldn’t find peace. I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racquet,” Serena said. “Finally, I realized that there was only one way for me to move forward. It was time for me to apologize to the person who deserved it the most. I started to type, slowly at first, then faster as if the words were flowing out of me.”

Later in her piece, Serena revealed what she wrote to Osaka in the days after the final, saying she never expected to be pitted against the rising star in the media.

“I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you,” Williams said in a message to Osaka. “I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete. I can’t wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan!”

Serena also detailed Osaka’s response.

"People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two. No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing," the Japanese wrote back to Serena.

Serena would further elaborate on her feelings from the match, saying the incident with Ramos kept her up at night.

The 37-year-old continues to be firm with her stance that Ramos was being sexist and not merely enforcing rules after she had been hit with various code violations, that last of which resulted in her being docked a game.

“Every night, as I would try to go to sleep, unresolved questions ran through my mind in a never-ending loop: How can you take a game away from me in the final of a grand slam? Really, how can you take a game away from anyone at any stage of any tournament?
“If I were a man, would I be in this situation? What makes me so different? Is it because I’m a woman?
“I was hurt — cut deeply. I tried to compare it to other setbacks I’d had in my life and career, and for some reason I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was about so much more than just me,” Williams wrote.

Speaking after her mixed doubles victory with Andy Murray on Tuesday night, Serena was quizzed about the timing of the letter being released to the public.

“[It] was actually planned months ago. It wasn't like I was going to plan the release of it. I wasn't quite sure when the actual magazine was going to come out. It was all coincidental," Williams said."

Serena is two wins away from equalling Margaret Court’s all-time Grand Slam singles title record of 24 at Wimbledon. She will take on the unseeded Barbora Strycova in the semi-finals on Thursday, with the winner to meet either Elina Svitolina or Simona Halep in the final.

You can read Serena's full piece for Harper's Bazaar here.


Share this with your friends

To:
From:
Your comments:

Serena reveals written apology to Osaka from 2018 U.S. Open final - "Days passed and I still couldn't find peace"

Serena Williams has opened up about her infamous 2018 U.S. Open defeat to Naomi Osaka in a lengthy and heartfelt piece penned for Harper’s Bazaar.

Read more »

You have unread messages

You have unread messages