Naomi Osaka, a 20- year old tennis player, is in the global spotlight after she defeated Serena Williams and ultimately won the US Open. This victory marks the first Grand Slam title Osaka won, and it is amplified by the fact that she triumphed over Williams, the 23-time champion. However, Osaka’s victory is just the beginning. With this win under her belt, she could continue on to be one of the highest paid female athletes.
Drama on the Court
Osaka defeated Williams in straight sets of 6-2 and 6-4. However, the match is clouded with scandal due to Williams sparring with the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos. Williams received a total of three violations. The first occurred because her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, got caught giving her signals during the match. Upon reviewal of the film, officials can confidently say that he did give signals. However, it is unknown whether Williams saw them. Her second violation came when Williams had an emotional outburst that resulted in her smashing her racket, which cost her a point. Her third and final violation came from her verbally provoking Ramos and calling him a “thief” in regards to her lost point due to the racket violation. This ultimately cost her the game via forfeit, and Osaka was named the victor.
Williams, obviously upset by the loss, later stated controversial remarks accusing Ramos of sexism. Her statements are supported by the fact that he gave her sister, Venus Williams, similar violations in the 2016 French Open.
“I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief,’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’
Furthermore, the drama on the court clouded Osaka’s victory. In the trophy ceremony, instead of being rewarded with cheers, the audience booed. However, Williams gave a moving speech that made the crowd celebrate Osaka’s abilities as an athlete rather than the scandal.
Where to Next?
Osaka’s tennis skills are unmatched, and she walked away from the US open with her first Grand Slam title and a $3.8 million paycheck. However, this is just the beginning. Adidas announced that Osaka would be offered a contract worth $8.5 million a year. This is groundbreaking news because it is the largest deal offered to any female athlete. This would catapult Osaka to being the second highest paid female athlete. The current top paid female athlete is Serena Williams. This contract reflects not only Osaka’s hard work but also the impact she has on the tennis world.
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Resources: https://www.businessinsider.com/naomi-osaka-set-to-sign-record-adidas-deal-2018-9, https://www.givemesport.com/1386885-umpire-carlos-ramos-issued-coaching-violation-to-venus-williams-during-2016-french-open, http://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/24665148/us-open-2018-how-naomi-osaka-rebounded-become-first-japanese-player-win-gran-slam-singles-title, https://nypost.com/2018/09/13/what-serena-williams-told-naomi-osaka-at-peak-of-us-open-madness/
Picture Resources: Featured Image: https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/File:Naomi_Osaka_(40908474200).jpg, https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/File:Serena_Williams_(July_2008).jpg,