Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open in New York today.
Going into the match, attention had been placed on Williams. For the 23-time Grand Slam winner, this marked an opportunity to tie with Margaret Court for the most all-time Grand Slam singles titles.
Instead, Osaka pulled off a surprise victory against Williams. The U.S. Open champion played a strong match, boasting a first serve percentage of 76 and hitting six aces to Williams’ three. The Adidas-sponsored athlete, who is just 20 years old, had been seeded at No. 20 going into the tournament.
Adidas celebrated Osaka’s victory with a tweet commemorating the historical moment.
“Here To Create History.
@Naomi_Osaka_, Japan’s first ever Grand Slam Champion. #HereToCreate #CreatorsUnite,” the post read.
While Osaka played well, tensions ran high on the court — and the match became mired in controversy during the second set. Williams’ coach was accused of making hand signals toward her, resulting in a game penalty for the Nike athlete.
The star became noticeably frustrated on the court, smashing her racquet on the court, which resulted in another penalty from umpire Carlos Ramos.
“You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life! I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right for her,” Williams told Ramos. “I don’t cheat to win. I’d rather lose.”
After Osaka won, the crowd began to boo in protest of Ramos’ officiating. But Williams went over to console the younger athlete, who considers the 36-year-old to be an idol of hers.
For Williams, this marks the second runner-up finish since the birth of daughter Olympia, with the first coming at Wimbledon in July.
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