Serena Williams on Tuesday said that she consulted a therapist following her infamous 2018 US Open final meltdown. The tennis star had a verbal spat with the umpire which created headlines and overshadowed Naomi Osaka's maiden Grand Slam victory.
Williams said she sent an apology to Naomi Osaka for her behavior in last year's U.S. Open final. Williams, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals on Tuesday, says in a Harper's Bazaar magazine article that she wrote to Osaka after not being able to "find peace."
Williams says "I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn't ready to pick up a racket. Finally I realized that there was only one way for me to move forward. It was time for me to apologize to the person who deserved it the most."
Williams says she told the Japanese player she was a fan and that she was "truly sorry." Osaka answered the message, and Williams says "when Naomi's response came through, tears rolled down my face."
Williams was given three code violations by chair umpire Carlos Ramos in the U.S. Open final, resulting in the loss of a game. The first came as a result of what Ramos deemed coaching from her box. The second was for smashing her racket, costing her a point. And the third came after she called Ramos "a thief."
The news about the seven-time Wimbledon champion seeking therapy came on the day she was fined $10,000 for damaging one of the All England Club's courts with her racquet. The 37-year-old American was sanctioned for an incident which took place during a practice session before the tournament got underway. "The code given is for unsportsmanlike behaviour. The reason is court damage," a spokeswoman told an international media publication.
(With inputs from APTN)