Osaka become the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam with a 6-2 6-4 win over Serena Williams, but the achievement was a footnote to her opponent’s on-court meltdown.
Williams received three code violations – on-court coaching (first offence, warning), racket abuse (second offence, point penalty) and verbal abuse (third offence, game penalty) – as she unravelled in the second set, branding umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" and a "liar".
The American later accused Ramos of sexism, with her claims backed by the WTA and tennis great Billie Jean King.
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"There's a lot of stuff I want to say about how I felt and whatever," said Osaka.
But for me, I don't know, I don't know. The memory of the US Open is a little bit bittersweet. Like right after, the day after, I really didn't want to think about it because it wasn't necessarily the happiest memory for me. I just sort of wanted to move on at that point.
Osaka, 20, was reduced to tears during the trophy ceremony as an angry crowd at Flusing Meadows vented their frustration at Ramos.
The world number six refused to criticise Williams directly, instead using an analogy involving green tea ice cream.
"When you bite into it, it's sweet but also very strong. That's how that memory feels to me," she continued.
I mean, of course I'm happy that I won a Grand Slam. I don't think there's anything that can take away from that. But I don't know. I feel like not that when I look back on it that it's a bad memory, but I feel like it was so strange, I just didn't want to think about it. I wanted to just push it to the side. I'm still trying to take my mind off of it a little bit.
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