Standing on the podium waiting to be handed her trophy and a winner's cheque for $US3.8 million ($NZ5.8 million), Osaka heard only boos as an angry crowd took out their frustration on Ramos, who stood to the side.
But Williams's dustup with the chair umpire shouldn't obscure this crucial fact: Osaka outplayed her and deserved to win Saturday's match. We're going to get through this and let's be positive. Tom, thank you for joining us.
Osaka apologized to the crowd. She smashed her racquet, she snarled at Ramos again: "You stole a point from me".
Down 4-3 in the second set and already having lost the first set 6-2, Williams received a third violation for verbal abuse against the chair umpire and a shocking game penalty, all but putting the match away for Osaka. "I have a daughter and I stand for what is right and I have never cheated". There was no thumbs-up sign. Even though her coach has admitted to coaching, Williams has made it clear that she did not receive any coaching. He also said everyone does it and usually is not called for it.
Keys emerged for the second set with an air of determination but she surrendered her serve in the first game with her 21st unforced error of the match.
Williams continued to argue with Ramos and even yelled at the umpire from Portugal. "I should just try to play her as an opponent".
That coaching warning ignited the first outburst from Williams, who screamed at Ramos that she was a mother and would never cheat, adding that she would rather lose.
Osaka held serve to level the score at 3-3, and then broke Williams the following game, coolly slapping a forehand victor past Williams at 30-40 to clinch the break. "I love you (Serena)". How dare you insinuate that I was cheating... Her ugly rant at a line judge marred Kim Clijsters's semi-final win over her in 2009 and she infamously called chair umpire Eva Asderaki "unattractive inside" in a tantrum during her 2011 final loss to Samantha Stosur.
At that point, Williams called for referee Brian Earley, who came to the court with Grand Slam supervisor Donna Kelso.
The headlines were supposed to be about Williams' bid for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title and Osaka trying to become Japan's first Slam victor, but instead Williams' argument with umpire Carlos Ramos that escalated dominated the match. (She'll jump to No. 7 on Monday.) Now, at the age of 20, she's a Grand Slam champion.
The 2018 US Open final might be remembered as the one where Serena Williams, on her road back from maternity leave, found herself embroiled in controversy with officials once more; where she found herself docked a point and then a game; where she missed out on her record-equalling 24th Grand Slam. We all saw it too in the replays - where he's signalling with his hands something that seems to say rush the net or pull Osaka to the net or whatever.
In a statement released shortly after, the WTA said, "There are matters that need to be looked into that took place during the match". For tonight, it is time to celebrate these two unbelievable players, both of whom have great integrity. Like, (Alizé) Cornet should be able to take her shirt off without getting a fine.