Serena Williams says she sent an apology to Naomi Osaka for her behavior in last year’s U.S. Open final.
Williams, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals Tuesday, says in a Harper’s Bazaar magazine article that she wrote to Osaka, who won her first major title by beating Williams that day, 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.”
Murray not ready for singles: Andy Murray’s surgically repaired hip is coping well with the strain of playing doubles. As for making a return to singles, that’s still “quite a ways away, unfortunately,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said.
Murray and Williams beat Fabrice Martin and Raquel Atawo 7-5, 6-3 on Centre Court to reach the third round of mixed doubles. Murray lost in the second round of men’s doubles.
Murray said he is feeling fine physically while he’s playing, but that he’s still not ready to compete at the highest level in singles. So a return at the U.S. Open — where he won the first of his three Grand Slam titles in 2012 — doesn’t appear to be on the cards.
“The amount of work I need to do on the court to get ready for singles, the amount of work I need to put in off the court to get myself strong enough to play best-of-five sets, it’s still quite a ways away, unfortunately,” he said.
Konta bristles at reporter: As the last British player remaining in the tournament, Johanna Konta was the crowd favorite against Barbora Strycova in the quarterfinals on Centre Court but lost 7-6 (5), 6-1 despite holding a 4-1 lead in the first set.
Konta attributed Strycova’s comeback solely to her opponent’s good play — and bristled at the notion that it was her own mistakes that were at fault. Asked by a reporter whether she should “look at yourself a little bit about how you cope with these big points,” Konta shot back: “Is that in your professional tennis opinion?”
A testy exchange followed, with the reporter saying that if Konta wants to win a Grand Slam tournament one day, she should be willing to learn from matches like this one. Konta interrupted him to say, “Please don’t patronize me.”
“In the way you’re asking your question, you’re being quite disrespectful and you’re patronizing me,” Konta said. “I’m a professional competitor who did her best today, and that’s all there is to that.”
After Murray ended a 77-year wait for a British men’s champion at Wimbledon in 2013, the country’s fans and media have become increasingly hopeful that Konta could become the first homegrown female champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Serena-Williams-says-she-apologized-to-Naomi-Osaka-14083895.php.