Social media remains divided over Serena Williams’ emotional meltdown during the US Open tennis final.
Williams lost the final to Japanese youngster against Naomi Osaka 6-2, 6-4 on New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium on Sunday (NZ time) and her outburst continues to overshadow the 20-year-old's maiden Grand Slam crown.
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The American received three code violations, including a game penalty for verbal abuse, from chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
She lost the plot when she was warned for getting instructions from coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who later admitted he was coaching her from the stands.
That led to a continuous and vocal protest, and more violations when Williams called Ramos a "thief" and later accused him of being "sexist".
"I have never cheated in my life," Williams fumed at the umpire.
"I have a daughter and I stand for what's right for her. I've never cheated and you owe me an apology.
"You will never be on another court of mine as long as you live. Say it, say you're sorry."
Current and former tennis stars Andy Roddick, Victoria Azarenka, and Billie Jean King tweeted their support for Williams, along with actor Reese Witherspoon and TV host Ellen DeGeneres.
Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins had a hot take on the event.
"[Ramos] took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn’t take a woman speaking sharply to him," she wrote.
Many accept that there is sexism in tennis, but most thought that Williams was wrong to bring it up at that moment.
Many tennis fans said Williams stole Osaka's moment and her chance to celebrate a US Open victory.
Massey University sports psychology professor Gary Hermansson told The AM Show that Williams was likely emotional, as she chased a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam crown.
"At that level, the emotions were always going to play a part as well and there was plenty going on for her," he said.
"It was a historic occasion and coming back in a spectacular way, but the sad part was, at that stage, the emotions got away on her and she didn't handle it well.
"It sounded like about a sense of entitlement. You have to respect the vagaries of the game and respect your opposition.
"She risked taking a moment away from her opponent's occasion also, so that was another piece to add to that complexity."
Former chair umpire Richard Ings wrote a column for the Sydney Morning Herald, defending Ramos and saying Serena should be the one apologising.
"All players know that publicly attacking the honesty of the umpire is going to result in an immediate code violation," he wrote.
"Ramos made absolutely the correct calls as a chair umpire in each of the three incidents.
"I can never truly appreciate the real sexism and racism that Williams will have absolutely faced in her life and career.
"Her iconic status, speaking out on racism and sexism off the court, is inspiring. She is a positive role model in every sense.
"The decisions made by Ramos had nothing to do with sexism or racism. They had everything to do with observing clear breaches of the Grand Slam code of conduct, and then having the courage to call them without fear or favour."
Ings famously gave John McEnroe a point penalty and a game penalty in the 1987 US Open final.
Others claimed that a similar outburst in other sports would have earned a penalty during the match.
Williams was fined NZ$26,006 for the three code violations.