Who is saying what about Serena Williams’ US Open meltdown?

Serena Williams has a heated discussion with the match referee during her US Open final defeat at the hands of Naomi Osaka. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2018

Who is saying what about Serena Williams’ US Open meltdown?

  • American ace called umpire a "thief" during her defeat in New York.
  • Serena now the focus of all the discussion after Osaka wins her first Grand Slam.

Serena’a US Open final meltdown: Who’s saying what after Naomi Osaka defeated the American in a stormy final on Saturday:

“Thank you @serenawilliams total class at the speech and you truly are the goat.” —Osaka’s coach Sascha Bajin, a former hitting partner of Williams, on Twitter.

“If it was men’s match, this wouldn’t happen like this. It just wouldn’t. — Two-time major winner and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka on Twitter.

“The star of the show has been once again the chair umpire. Second time in this US Open and third time for Serena in a US Open Final. Should they be allowed have an influence on the result of a match? When do we decide that this should never happen again ?" — Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou on Twitter.

“@espn just showed Serena and coach while he was “coaching.” She wasn’t even looking. Believe what you want.” — Former US men’s player Mardy Fish.

“Congratulations on winning the 2018 @usopen, @Naomi_Osaka_. This win is just the beginning of a bright future. Tennis is in an exciting place right now with players like you. #Champion #usopen“ — Billie Jean King.

“Serena is a champion & doesn’t deserve it — the same way that Naomi is a champion & doesn’t deserve this atmosphere for her first GS title!" — French WTA player Kristina Mladenovic.

“I also agree with what Patrick said that pretty much all players receive coaching on court. The first warning for me is the most questionable one. Also hard that coaching at WTAs and qualies of slams is okay but not MD slams.” — British player Liam Broady on Twitter

“It’s all on the umpire of course. I was sad to see that Naomi was crying like she lost this final, but she was just playing better today. And no doubt Serena is the greatest champion and GOAT, but that’s rules. It was really heartbreaking final.” — Russian tour player Elena Vesnina

“Mother of all meltdowns” — New York Post headline

India and Pakistan ready to renew rivalry in Dubai showdown

Updated 54 min 47 sec ago

India and Pakistan ready to renew rivalry in Dubai showdown

  • India brace for Pakistan after surviving stern test against minnows Hong Kong
  • Usman Shinwari: Any player who performs well in an India-Pakistan match will find his career reaches a new high

DUBAI: As delirium sweeps the UAE ahead of the mouth-watering encounter between arch rivals India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup, it seems one man — at least outwardly — is not as excited as the rest of the country and cricketing fans the world over.
India captain Rohit Sharma played with a straight bat when asked about the biggest clash in world cricket, set to take place today at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. On his first Asia Cup media outing the 31-year-old seemed unconcerned by the impending showdown with their fiercest opponents, his focus instead on facing Hong Kong, who Sharma and Co. had a big scare against on Tuesday.
“Right now, we are not focusing on Pakistan as (first) we are playing Hong Kong,” Sharma said on Sunday. “Obviously we have to focus on that particular team but once we have finished that game we will focus on Pakistan and what their strengths and weaknesses are.”
These are clearly the words of a man so media trained that by now he could easily be on the other side of the desk, asking the same questions he and his colleagues sometimes enjoy batting back with crafted clichés that speak of focusing on “one game at a time” or the like.
Sharma was clearly right to not take his eyes off the ball with Hong Kong — they are not here to merely make up the numbers, as their brilliant, battling performance on Tuesday illustrated. But at the same time, Sharma will be all too aware that as India skipper the one match you do not want to lead your side to defeat in is the one against Pakistan, regardless of competition and location.
Clearly India are not leaving Pakistan preparations to the 14 hours or so (sleep included) between the close of the Hong Kong clash and the toss prior to resuming Indo-Pak cricketing rivalry. To suggest they are would be naive at best.
A year on from Pakistan’s show-stealing Champions Trophy final victory over the old enemy in June last year, and a whole five years since the two sides met outside of an ICC or ACC event due to strained political relations, the appetite for the first of potentially three matches at this year’s Asia Cup is huge and one borne out of starved hunger.
Pakistan’s Usman Shinwari, fresh off defeating Hong Kong on Sunday, was more candid than Sharma.
“Any player who performs well in an India-Pakistan match will find his career reaches a new high, and every player dreams of doing well in this contest,” the fast bowler said. “I took three wickets (against Hong Kong), I hope that can be five wickets against India.”
Shinwari’s sentiments were echoed by his captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, who is absolutely clear on the levels of expectation that this fixture demands from fans on both sides of the border.
“The passion is always there,” said Sarfraz. “When you play against India everyone wants us to win as it’s against India.
“The fans say that whatever happens you have to win but as a captain I have to win against every team. It would be the same for India whose fans want them to win. It has happened in the past that any player who performs in the Indo-Pak match becomes a national hero.”
UAE cricket fans cannot wait for the clash. It took just a few hours for the first batch of tickets to be snapped up, the second bought in equally ravenous fashion. It has left a huge number of tickets now being touted across online marketplaces, social media platforms and, ultimately, will likely see the inflated resales being pawned outside the stadium on matchday too.
An expected 25,000 fans will swell the Ring of Fire, set to deal not only with cricket’s most fierce rivalry but also with all the unpredictability that will be thrown their way.
The famed traffic jams around Hessa Street, leading up to the stadium, and local entrances of Dubai Sports City will heave and efforts have been made to ease the burden of vehicles that will cart both sets of fans in and out of the area. Gates will open from 12p.m. local time, a whole three and a half hours before the first ball has been bowled. In an emirate where the last-minute rush is a daily fact of life, this will be not be an easy thing to execute but that, alongside the immense presence of volunteers and security, should prove welcome additions to the day’s running order.
This, though, is India vs Pakistan. Anything could happen.