Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts after breaking the serve of Serena Williams during the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, September 8, 2018, in New York.
Julio Cortez/AP
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts after breaking the serve of Serena Williams during the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, September 8, 2018, in New York.
Now playing
02:38
Serena loses in controversial US Open final
Jaime Lawson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for USTA
Now playing
02:21
Analyst: Serena is right to claim sexism
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, holds the trophy after defeating Serena Williams in the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, September 8 in New York.
Adam Hunger/AP
Naomi Osaka, of Japan, holds the trophy after defeating Serena Williams in the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Saturday, September 8 in New York.
Now playing
00:51
Naomi Osaka reacts to controversial win
Alize Cornet (FRA) plays her first round at the 2018 US Open at Billie Jean National Tennis Center in New York City, NY, USA, on August 28, 2018. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)
Abaca Press/SIPAPRE/Sipa USA via AP
Alize Cornet (FRA) plays her first round at the 2018 US Open at Billie Jean National Tennis Center in New York City, NY, USA, on August 28, 2018. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)
Now playing
01:43
Alize Cornet penalized for removing shirt
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28:  Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand during his mens singles first round match against Simone Bolelli of Italy during day two of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28: Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand during his mens singles first round match against Simone Bolelli of Italy during day two of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on May 28, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:22
Nadal by the numbers
Looking Back on the Scottish Open, and Wimbledon _00004101.jpg
Looking Back on the Scottish Open, and Wimbledon _00004101.jpg
Now playing
01:22
Looking Back on the Scottish Open, and Wimbledon
Russia's Maria Sharapova during her semi final round match at the French Tennis Open at Roland-Garros arena in Paris, France on June 6, 2013. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM
CORINNE DUBREUIL
Russia's Maria Sharapova during her semi final round match at the French Tennis Open at Roland-Garros arena in Paris, France on June 6, 2013. Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM
Now playing
02:23
Photographer to the tennis stars
SEP 1989:  YANNICK NOAH OF FRANCE PERFORMS A RUNNING FOREHAND DURING A MATCH AT THE 1989 US OPEN PLAYED AT FLUSHING MEADOWS IN NEW YORK.
Getty Images
SEP 1989: YANNICK NOAH OF FRANCE PERFORMS A RUNNING FOREHAND DURING A MATCH AT THE 1989 US OPEN PLAYED AT FLUSHING MEADOWS IN NEW YORK.
Now playing
02:03
Yannick Noah: The last Frenchman to win Roland Garros
Now playing
03:07
Tennis players quizzed: Who was Roland Garros?
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 07:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia serves in the Men's Singles Final against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland on day fifteen of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 7, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 07: Novak Djokovic of Serbia serves in the Men's Singles Final against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland on day fifteen of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 7, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:35
Red clay and no roof: The unique Roland Garros
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Rafael Nadal of Spain bites the championship trophy during the trophy ceremony after their Men's Singles Finals match on Day Fourteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Rafael Nadal defeated Kevin Anderson in the third set with a score of 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Rafael Nadal of Spain bites the championship trophy during the trophy ceremony after their Men's Singles Finals match on Day Fourteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Rafael Nadal defeated Kevin Anderson in the third set with a score of 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Now playing
00:58
Nadal wins in New York
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09:  Sloane Stephens of the United States poses with the championship trophy during the trophy presentation after the Women's Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys in the second set with a score of 6-3, 6-0.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Sloane Stephens of the United States poses with the championship trophy during the trophy presentation after the Women's Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys in the second set with a score of 6-3, 6-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:20
Sloane Stephens' press conference outtakes
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 03: Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts during his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 03: Denis Shapovalov of Canada reacts during his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain on Day Seven of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:21
Denis Shapovalov: Meet tennis' new wonderkid
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09:  Sloane Stephens of the United States poses with the championship trophy during the trophy presentation after the Women's Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys in the second set with a score of 6-3, 6-0.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09: Sloane Stephens of the United States poses with the championship trophy during the trophy presentation after the Women's Singles finals match on Day Thirteen of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 9, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Sloane Stephens defeated Madison Keys in the second set with a score of 6-3, 6-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:22
Sloane Stephens wins US Open
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates victory with the trophy alongside runner up Venus Williams of The United States after the Ladies Singles final on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15: Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates victory with the trophy alongside runner up Venus Williams of The United States after the Ladies Singles final on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 15, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:47
Muguruza beats Venus Williams at Wimbledon
New York CNN —  

Juan Martin del Potro may have been the sentimental favorite in Sunday’s US Open men’s final, but Novak Djokovic paid no attention to that on court as he beat the popular, injury ravaged Argentine to collect a historic grand slam title.

It was the latest in a string of events that could lead one to say this has been the most eventful Grand Slam ever, what with the heat, a new heat rule for the men, chair umpires intervening in play, one of the biggest upsets in tournament history and the mid-match retirement of Rafael Nadal.

Osaka prevailed against her idol 6-2, 6-4 in New York to deny Williams a record 24th major – and first as a mom – and become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam singles title.

The 20-year-old indeed made history for Japan but the final will be remembered as much – if not more – for Williams clashing with chair umpire Carlos Ramos in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Ramos first gave Williams, 36, a code violation warning for coaching in the second game of the second set – he ruled that her French coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, gave her hand signals from the stands. Mouratoglou admitted in a TV interview he was coaching, though that didn’t mean his charge saw him.

READ: Djokovic cruises into eighth final

READ: Osaka, Nishikori make history for Japan

And he said his counterpart, Sascha Bajin, formerly Williams’ hitting partner, was doing the same thing.

Williams approached the net and told Ramos: “I don’t cheat. I’d rather lose. Every time I play here I have problems.”

Naomi Osaka reacts after winning the US Open, beating Serena Williams.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Naomi Osaka reacts after winning the US Open, beating Serena Williams.

Williams may have been referring to the US Open in 2009, when she received a point penalty against Kim Clijsters in the semifinals – deemed to have verbally abused a linesperson – and was called for hindrance for yelling during a point in the 2011 final against Sam Stosur.

Even before then, a bad call went against Williams in the 2004 quarterfinals against Jennifer Capriati, a match that served to speed up the use of Hawk-Eye in tennis.

Point, game penalty

Williams earned a point penalty Saturday for cracking her racket when broken for 3-2 in the second and subsequently was docked a game, to trail 5-3, for what Ramos deemed to be verbal abuse towards him. “You stole a point from me and you are a thief,” Williams said during a changeover at 3-4, to prompt the ruling. Williams sought an apology from Ramos though didn’t appear to get one.

READ: Millman, heat overcome Federer

READ: Nadal edges Thiem in epic match

Williams also pleaded her case to tournament referee Brian Earley and supervisor Donna Kelso, having demanded the presence of the officials on court.

Serena Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos clash during the final.
Jaime Lawson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for USTA
Serena Williams and umpire Carlos Ramos clash during the final.

“There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me?” Williams said. “That is not right.”

“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things,” she added later in her mandatory news conference. “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.’

“For me it blows my mind. But I’m going to continue to fight for women,” said Williams, before voicing her displeasure about French player Alize Cornet being told off by a male chair umpire last week for taking off her top when it was on the wrong way. Cornet had a sports bra on underneath.

On the other side of the net, Osaka didn’t know what was going on.

“It was 5-3, so I was a little confused then. But for me I felt like I really had to focus during this match because she’s such a great champion and I know she can come back from any point,” said Osaka, who wrote a report on Williams when she was in third grade.

The US Open, in a statement, said Ramos’ decision was final and not reviewable. Women’s governing body the WTA, meanwhile, released a statement in the aftermath of the brouhaha on Ashe, saying that Williams “plays with class.”

“There are matters that need to be looked into that took place during the match,” it said. “For tonight, it is time to celebrate these two amazing players, both of whom have great integrity.

“Naomi is a deserving champion and Serena at all times plays with class and makes us proud.”

Osaka sealed her first major with a thumping serve out wide. But moments later, boos rained down in tennis’ biggest stadium – it was even louder with the roof closed due to the threat of rain – as the trophy presentation was about to start.

Normally chair umpires are introduced and receive a gift, but Ramos was nowhere to be found.

Tears from Osaka

Williams urged the crowd to calm down as the 20th-ranked Osaka wept, seemingly overwhelmed by the crowd’s reaction and all the controversy.

“Let’s give everyone the credit where credit’s due and let’s not boo anymore,” Williams told the crowd. “We’re going to get through this and let’s be positive. So congratulations, Naomi. No more booing.”

Osaka, who grew up in New York, was up next in what was a difficult spot for a less experienced player: “I know that everyone was cheering for her and I’m sorry it had to end like this,” she said. She further apologized in her news briefing for stopping Williams from getting to No. 24.

“She really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right,” she said. “It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere.”

While Williams lost her second consecutive Grand Slam final – having been defeated by Germany’s Angelique Kerber at Wimbledon when first seeking to tie Australia’s Margaret Court for the all-time lead in majors – Osaka blossomed during the fortnight.

The two finalists share a laugh during the trophy ceremony.
Chris Trotman/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for USTA
The two finalists share a laugh during the trophy ceremony.

Never before had a Japanese player won a Grand Slam singles title, with Kei Nishikori coming the closest by reaching the US Open final four years ago. Osaka also beat Williams in March in Miami, shortly after Williams returned from a 14-month layoff after giving birth to daughter Olympia.

Osaka chose to represent Japan though she could have played for Haiti – her dad is Haitian – or the United States.

Osaka now lives in Florida, a hotbed for tennis players thanks to the weather and a plethora of tennis academies.

Osaka is 16 years younger than Williams, marking the second biggest age gap in a major final after a 17-year-old Monica Seles faced the 34-year-old Martina Navratilova at the 1991 US Open.

On that day, too, the more junior player prevailed.

Osaka’s progress

Osaka has power in abundance but is also one of the best movers in the game. She has showed incredible composure as well, saving five of six break points Saturday after saving all 13 in the semifinals against Madison Keys.

Overall she dropped only one set in the tournament, which marked Osaka’s maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.

The fans gasped when Osaka crunched a forehand passing shot winner at 4-1 and she outnumbered Williams in the “come on” stakes. A pulsating 19-shot rally went Osaka’s way when she engineered a forehand down the line early in the second.

Serena Williams (right) and Naomi Osaka line up before the women's final. It couldn't foreshadow the drama that was to come.
Elsa/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Serena Williams (right) and Naomi Osaka line up before the women's final. It couldn't foreshadow the drama that was to come.

Williams’ normally lethal serve misfired, hitting a double fault in each service game of the first set. Williams struck back-to-back double faults when immediately broken back for 3-2 in the second, paving the way for the racket smash.

Broadway, a stone’s throw away, couldn’t match the drama that unfolded.

Undaunted, however, Osaka served the match out with aplomb, delivering a potent serve that Williams barely touched.

The US Open title was hers, but Williams and Ramos occupied the leading roles.

What on earth will happen Sunday, when Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro meet in the men’s final?