Serena Williams had grabbed all the headlines after losing the 2018 US Open against Naomi Osaka, during which she reportedly had a verbal spat with the on-court umpire Carlos Ramos. However, there seems to be a new twist to the tale with an Australian newspaper causing a firestorm for publishing a controversial cartoon of the American tennis ace.
A cartoon by Mark Knight which was published in the Herald Sun tabloid, depicted Serena Williams having a meltdown on the court after her US Open loss against Naomi Osaka on Saturday.
The cartoon shows Williams stomping her racquet in frustration, while in the background the on-chair umpire can be seen asking her opponent Osaka, "Can you just let her win?"
The depiction of the 2018 US Open champion has also come under fire for making her appear as a 'faceless prop'. The Australian cartoonist has been a subject of major flak from several journalists, sports broadcasters and renowned personalities for being distasteful and politically incorrect.
Renowned British author JK Rowling made her sentiments felt by calling out the cartoon to be "racist". She tweeted: Well done on reducing one of the greatest sportswomen alive to racist and sexist tropes and turning a second great sportswoman into a faceless prop.”
US sportswriter Julie DiCaro, were some of the few to raise objection against the controversial cartoon. She said: “Where was this cartoon for all the men who have broken their rackets over the years?"
Knight defended his stance by posting a cartoon he had drawn earlier of Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios at the US Open, and asked Julie not to "bring gender into it when it’s all about behavior."
Serena Williams had a verbal conflict with the on-field umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open final, which was followed by a crushing 6-2, 6-4 defeat at the hands of Japan's Naomi Osaka.
The incident occurred during the second game of the second set, when Spanish umpire Carlos Ramos charged Serena Williams with a code violation for receiving illegal coaching.
The drama didn't just end there, there was further controversy on the night with Serena Williams smashing her racquet in frustration after losing the fifth game of the second set. She earned another penalty point for the subsequent offense. Left angered by the decision, she went on to call umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar and a thief” and insisted that he owed her an apology.