Serena Williams has lashed out on the court and claimed sexism in tennis in sensational scenes at the US Open this morning.
Naomi Osaka sensationally upset Serena Williams a second time in an explosive US Open final which saw the six-time Flushing Meadows champ break down in tears on the court and in a press conference afterwards.
The dramatic turn of events saw the grand slam queen blow up at chair umpire Carlos Ramos in a rant halting the match for several minutes.
In the press conference after the explosive game, Williams said she was "here fighting for women's rights and women's equality" and labelling the umpire's decision "a sexist remark".
During the match, Williams was pulled up by Ramos after seemingly receiving coaching advice from the front row. Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, gestured to her after she won the first game of the second set.
It appeared to be a suggestion for Williams to move closer to the net, a tactic which served her well in the semi-final against Anastasija Sevastova.
"I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose. I'm just letting you know," a fired-up Williams told the umpire.
"I can understand how you made that thought but I don't cheat."
The brief altercation appeared to spur Serena on to taking back the match, resulting in a freakish exchange between the two as Osaka served her way through a tense deuce at 2-1 in the second set.
Willams sent the crowd bananas as she snagged her first break of the match via an overhit backhand return from the youngster went long.
But the fireworks weren't over yet.
Serena was brought up again shortly after by the umpire docking her a point for breaking her racket, sparking a heated outburst from the 36-year-old.
"I don't cheat and I never have in my life! I didn't get coaching, how can you say that. You owe me an apology. I have a daughter and I set what's right for her ... This is unbelievable!"
Williams then called umpire Ramos a "thief" as she went down 5-4 with Osaka serving for the match.
She was hit with a verbal abuse game penalty for her outburst and did not shake Ramos' hand after the match.
"I'm just trying to process everything and focus on the bright things, the good things," she said in the post match press conference.
"I felt bad, I was crying, she was crying. This wasn't how I felt when I won my first grand slam. Maybe it was the mum in me when I said, 'c'mon, let's pull ourselves together here'.
"(But) I wasn't being coached. It may have looked like I was but I wasn't. I don't need to cheat to win.
"I feel like (Osaka) was playing really well but it's hard to say (if the umpire influenced the match)."
Serena's coach Mouratoglou admitted to sideline coaching in an interview with ESPN but wasn't short of accusations himself.
"(Osaka's coach) was coaching every point too, so I don't get it," he fired off after the match. "I don't get it. It's not a big deal breaking a racket."
Mouratoglou said he'd never been brought up for coaching mid-match and thought the upset wouldn't hurt Serena's charge towards a 24th grand slam title.
"All coaches are coaching throughout the match. But check the record. I've never been called for a coaching violation in my career."
Standing on the podium after the match, Williams thanked the crowd and her team and asked everyone to stop booing.
"I don't want to be rude, I don't want to do questions. I just want to say (Osaka) played well and this is her first grand slam," Williams said. "Congratulations Naomi."
Osaka said she was "sorry it had to end like this".
"I just wanted to say thank you for watching the match," the teary champ said.
"I didn't know what was going on, I was just trying to focus. Since it was my first Grand Slam final, I did not want to getoverwhelmed," said 20-year-old Osaka after her 6-2, 6-4 win.
Big cheers for Osaka as she is introduced as the new champion
Osaka would have been dreading doing this speech as it was, let along after all of this.
Fighting back tears, she says: "I know that everyone was cheering for her, and I'm sorry it had to end like this.
"I just want to say thanks for watching the match.
"My mum has sacrificed a lot for me, and it means a lot for her to come and watch my matches. She doesn't usually come to them. All that we're missing is my dad but he physically doesn't watch my matches. He just walks around.
"It was also my dream to play Serena in the US Open final, and I'm really glad I was able to do that. I'm grateful I was able to play with you. Thank you."
Osaka is handed the trophy, which she nearly drops and sheepishly lifts aloft, as her coach Sascha Bajin breaks into tears.
Serena proudly holds aloft her runners-up trophy
More deafening cheers.
Huge cheers for Serena
As she begins her runners-up speech.
Her voice breaking into tears, Serena says: "I don't want to do questions. She played well, this is her first grand slam.
I know you guys were rooting but let's make this a great moment. Let's not boo. Let's be positive. Congratulations Naomi. No more booing. Thank you to my team, you guys are amazing. Thank you to the crowd, you guys really are the best in the world. I really hope to play here again. It's been tough here for me but thank you so much."
Now it's time for the trophy presentation
This is so awkward! Osaka looks like a teenager at a family reunion. Boos ring around the Arthur Ashe Stadium as the presentation begins. Osaka is in tears, as Williams tries to comfort her.
The rant that inspired that game penalty
"You are attacking my character."
"You are a liar."
"You are never going to be on my court ever again."
"Say you are sorry." "How dare you insinuate I was cheating."
"You stole a point from me. You are a thief too."
A new champ
What an achievement for Osaka - it's a shame that it'll be overshadowed by Serena's rants at the umpire, but ultimately all that matters for her is that she is the US Open champion.
The aggro continues
A warm embrace between the players at the end of the match, before Williams refuses to shake Ramos's hand and says: "you owe me an apology".
OSAKA WINS US OPEN FINAL 6-2 6-4
Controversy aside, Osaka has simply played the better tennis today.
She hits a stunning forehand winner, then with two huge serves she brings up double championship point.
Serena saves the first but can't return the second. OSAKA WINS.
Ugly scenes as Serena refuses to shake the hand of Carlos Ramos, and accusatory finger pointing. Ramos is booed by the crowd as he leaves the court.
WILLIAMS HOLDS TO LOVE, DOWN 5-4 IN 2ND
That's the best service game of Williams' match, she holds to love and the crowd is well and truly behind her.
But she's not done.
She continues to berate the match officials and she's burst into tears between games.
This is an unfortunate situation, but it's astonishing to see how this all-time great has behaved today.
Osaka is a hold away from victory, but will it be soured by these bizarre antics?
Osaka to serve for the championship now...
UGLY SCENES AS EMOTIONAL WILLIAMS BERATES UMPIRE
Serena been handed a third code violation, this time for verbal abuse. Carlos Ramos is not having it. He hands down a game penalty.
"Are you kidding me? You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live. You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you're sorry. ... And you stole a point from me. You're a thief, too!"
Serena demands that tournament referee Brian Earley is brought to the court, where she continues her incredible rant.
"This is not fair. This has happened to me too many times," she tells Earley.
"There's a lot of men who do a lot worse out here. It's because I'm a woman."
So after all that, Osaka is now one game away from a controversial victory. Williams will serve, down 5-3.
She's serving to stay in the match.
The crowd is very vocal, they're booing. But this is a testing period for Osaka in truly bizarre scenes.
OSAKA HOLDS FOR 4-3
While Serena fumes at the back of the court, she continues to be put under incredible pressure from Osaka who hits two stunning forehand winners to break Williams again. That's two breaks on the run from Osaka, who now leads 4-3. She has all the momentum and the match on her racquet.
Serena, meanwhile, is more interested in sparring with the chair umpire.
SERENA MELTDOWN, OSAKA HOLDS, 3-3
Serena is having a meltdown at Carlos Ramos over the coaching violation - she's demanding an apology and an announcement to the crowd that she didn't receive coaching.
'You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life.'
This is getting ugly. And she is fuming. Osaka holds to love and Serena's mind is elsewhere.
This could give her motivation, or her game could unravel.
OSAKA BREAKS BACK AGAINST FURIOUS SERENA, TRAILS 3-2
Serena is starting to lift the tempo in a big way now, and the crowd is lifting. Just as she appears to be serving better she drops two double faults to offer up a break point.
And Osaka grabs it on an unforced error into the net.
Serena is furious at herself, and smashes her racquet. Having worked so hard for that break, she's given it right back. She'll need a new racquet...
Serena leads 3-2 in the second, but it's back on serve.
OSAKA'S STUNNING STREAK ENDED, SERENA UP 3-1
Serena brings up a rare break point on an Osaka error.
Incredible rally. 19 shots - the longest of the match. Sharp angles, powerful forehands and it looks like Serena is on top - but Osaka continues to scramble and hits a massive forehand winner.
That's the 19th straight break point she's saved....
And she'll have to save another one, because Serena has another chance. An error from Osaka and she shows her first signs of frustration. A forced smile as she gathers her thoughts.
Bang! An ace saves her TWENTIETH straight break point. And here comes a 21st as Osaka with another backhand error.
Once again Osaka leans on her first serve, and Serena can't keep her return in play.
Serena responds with a powerful return winner for another break point. Something has to give, surely. She gets a look at Osaka's second serve and that's what she needs! Osaka sends one long and Osaka's run of 24 consecutive holds on her serve is broken.
SERENA WITH THE TOUGH HOLD, LEADS 2-1 IN 2ND
It seems the advice from Serena's box - which appeared to be along the lines of 'get to the net' - has been taken on board by the 23-time slam winner.
She approaches the net and hits a volley winner, but Osaka brings up break point with a HUGE return which forces an error from Serena.
Serena saves with another bruising rally that ends with her, again, coming to the net. And goes up advantage with a stellar drop shot. That's perfection.
And a very important hold. The second set stays on serve.
CONTROVERSY AS OSAKA HOLDS FOR 1-1
A bit of stress on Serena's face as Osaka crushes another monster forehand to force an error.
And now Serena gets a coaching violation after some words of encouragement from her box.
She approaches the chair umpire and is exasperated - saying all Mouratoglou was saying was "come on".
"I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose," she says.
She wins the next point, and lets out a big roar. But Osaka holds. This feels like a turning point for Serena though.
WILLIAMS OPENS SECOND SET WITH A HOLD, 1-0
That was ominous.
Serena raced to a quick hold and closed it out with a huge serve out wide. That was her best serve of the match and she'll need more of that to get some momentum back into her game.
Meanwhile, Serena's coach Patrick Mouratoglou says he thinks Serena has been surprised by Osaka's level of play.
I think we all are, at this point! She's had a sensational tournament, but has stepped up to another level today.
OSAKA WINS FIRST SET 6-2
Osaka brings up double set point as another Serena return goes long. An early chance to take a huge stranglehold on this match.
And Serena's return crashes into the net. Wow. Osaka cruises to a first-set lead.
That was a superb set from the rising Japanese star.
SERENA HOLDS, TAILS 5-2 IN FIRST
Major danger for Serena, who falls behind 0-30.
The crowd is trying to fire her up but her first serve has evaporated. It's nowhere to be seen. She's hitting at a mere 40 per cent. That's a concern, especially when you throw in four double faults.
But Serena holds, as Osaka racks up a some unforced errors of her own. She has five now, which is not a patch on Serena's 13 - though that's why she's leading 5-2 after barely half an hour.
Osaka to serve for the set.
OSAKA WITH TOUGH HOLD, LEADS 5-1
Superb passing shot by Osaka as Serena approaches the net. That's a cracking forehand on the run and is a warning to Serena: don't come to the net.
But Serena brings up her first break point as she lifts the tempo - a monster backhand sets up a straightforward volley winner.
But Osaka saves with an unreturnable serve to force deuce.
A bad Osaka unforced error gives another break point. Osaka has saved 17 break points in a row this tournament. And you can make that 18 as Serena smashes a backhand into the net.
And Osaka responds to the challenge with big serves and she goes big to get up 5-1.
Serena serving to stay in the set - and get a bit of momentum back. She's lost four straight games.
OSAKA TURNS SCREWS, GRABS DOUBLE BREAK TO LEAD 4-1
At what point does Serena's camp start to get nervous about how this match is going? There's slow starts... and then there's falling behind a double break with sloppy play.
We've already seen three double faults from Serena Williams so far - and it's hurting because Osaka is playing like Serena! She's punching her forehands deep to the corners and putting the GOAT under pressure.
She earns a break point as Serena forces a backhand long.... and converts it on another Serena unforced error into the net.
Osaka leads 4-1 and the first set is well and truly in her grasp.
OSAKA HOLDS FOR 3-1
An excellent service game to consolidate her break
Osaka is dictating terms here - pinning Serena to the baseline with excellent ground strokes. She's won eight of the past 10 points, and finishes the game with an ace.
Serena doesn't look rattled by any means but it's a nervy start, it's fair to say.
WILLIAMS CRACKS AS OSAKA NABS BREAK TO LEAD 2-1
Osaka has really warmed into this one!
We've seen the point of the match, a 10-shot rally in which Osaka prevails as Serena's forehand crashes into the net.
And Serena lets out her frustration by blasting a forehand long - it's break point for Osaka.
Ooohhh, and Serena double faults! Osaka has the break three games in.
OSAKA SETTLES, HOLDS FOR 1-1
As with Williams, Osaka opens her service game by dropping behind 0-30. Can she recover like her idol?
She can, forcing three backhand errors from Serena with sharp, pinpoint play. She's moving well and getting Serena moving as well.
She closes out the game with a big forehand winner. That's a good nerve settler, surely.
SERENA HOLDS FOR 1-0
A slow start from Serena, and some early nerves.
She falls behind 0-30 in the opening game after a double fault. She can take a moment or two to wind up, but you don't want to give your opponent much of a head start in a final.
It doesn't take long to muscle her way back into the game though - big serves, approaching the net and smashing winners gives Serena three straight points to lead 40-30 before Osaka forces deuce.
But Serena buries her first ace of the match, and a volley forehand winner and she's on the board.
WELCOME TO THE WOMEN'S FINAL!
Whatever happens today, we're looking at history.
Either Serena Williams wins her 24th grand slam singles title - equalling Australia's Margaret Court and cementing her place as the GOAT of women's tennis - or Naomi Osaka becomes the first ever Japanese grand slam winner.
Either way, we have something special on the way.
Stick around, we'll bring you all the action as it happens.