Williams wants to move on from row

Serena Williams has disputed Patrick Mouratoglou's admission that he illegally tried to coach her during the US Open final.
Serena Williams has disputed Patrick Mouratoglou's admission that he illegally tried to coach her during the US Open final.PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY • Serena Williams says she is trying to "move on" from the meltdown that overshadowed her US Open final loss, but is disputing her coach's admission that he illegally signalled to her.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion lost in straight sets to Naomi Osaka, who became the first Japanese to win a Major singles title, after a fiery confrontation with chair umpire Carlos Ramos that she later blamed on "sexism".

Williams called Ramos a "thief" and a "liar" in a running row with the Portuguese official that eventually saw her docked a game.

The United States Tennis Association later announced that Williams had been fined US$17,000 (S$23,000) for the code violations she received during the decider in New York earlier this month.

Speaking to Australia's Channel Ten, the American, who turns 37 tomorrow, was adamant a male player would not have been treated the same way.

She also told the TV station that women could not get away with "even half of what a guy can do".

"Right now we are not, as it's proven, in that same position," she said in an interview that aired late on Sunday.

"But that's neither here nor there. I'm just trying most of all to recover from that and move on."

The former world No. 1 admitted she felt "on the cusp of this amazing moment" before the 6-2, 6-4 loss to the eighth-ranked Osaka. A win would have taken her to 24 Grand Slams, equalling Australian Margaret Court's all-time record.

The dispute with Ramos began when Williams was issued a warning for coaching, something her coach sitting in the player's box, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged to doing.

Williams said she had not seen the Frenchman make a gesture, labelling his subsequent admission as "a really confusing moment".

"I asked him, 'What are you talking about you were coaching?'," she added.

"We don't have signals, we've never had signals. He said he made a motion, and I said, 'Okay, so you made a motion and now you're telling people you were coaching me? That doesn't make sense. Why would you say that?'."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 25, 2018, with the headline 'Williams wants to move on from row'. Subscribe