In the days after her loss to Naomi Osaka in the 2018 Open final, Serena Williams had difficulty sleeping in her Florida home. That game went into controversy after Williams was criticized by adjudicator Carlos Ramos three times in a series of decisions that Williams and many observers considered unfair and sex. Williams felt he was “destroyed and unhappy by a sport that I love,” and that he was unable to find peace, because the penal penalties and the intense reaction made him national headlines.
In response, she started seeing a therapist, Williams unveiled Tuesday i essay published by Harper's magazine Bazaar. This therapy helped her to move on from the incident, as she eventually did an exchange with Osaka.
“Every night, as I would try to go to bed, run unanswered questions through my mind in an unfinished loop: How can you take a game from me in the final of Grand Slam?” Williams writes in the essay. “Actually, how can you take a game away from anyone at any stage of any competition? I go over, exhausted from lack of sleep, still spinning ideas in my head.
“Why can't I express my frustration as everyone else is?” Williams continued. “If I was a man, would I be in this case? What makes me so different? Is it as a woman I? I stop myself from working up. I say to myself, 'You're so much, you have suffered so much, the time will allow me to heal, and this will soon be another memory that the strong woman, the athlete and the mother me today. ';
During that time, Williams decided to do something else: She wrote to Osaka. Williams told the Japanese that she was a fan and she was “absolutely sorry,” after the punishments and that her reaction to the court was so high after their games, that Osaka won the victory. .
Osaka answered the message, and writes “when Naomi's response came out, the tears rolled down my face.”
This is the full exchange between Williams and Osaka, according to the article:
Williams: “Hey, Naomi! It is Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I'm sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing to keep myself up. But I had no idea that the media would oppose us. I would love to take this opportunity again. I am, who was, and I will always be happy with you and supportive of you. I never want the light to go away from another woman, especially another black female athlete. I can not wait for your future, and I believe I will always watch as a big fan! I wish you every success today and in the future. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love and fans, Serena. ”
Osaka: “People can misunderstand anger from strength because they cannot distinguish between the two. No one stood for themselves how you are and you must continue to work. ”
Through the exchange, Williams writes, she understood why she was struggling with the “Opening” of the Trails. It was not because of the criticism or backup. It was because she felt guilty about speaking out on the court about what she felt was wrong, thinking “I should keep my mouth closed” and that Osaka deserved so much.
“But now, looking at her text taking everything into perspective, I realized she was right,” writes Williams. “This incident – although exciting to survive – showed how thousands of women in all areas of the workforce are treated every day. We are not allowed to have feelings, we are not allowed to be passionate. We are asked to sit down and be quiet, which I am not quite right. It is shameful that our society punishes women for themselves. "
Williams was warned during the game to get coaching, punish his destroying racquet and play a game in the second row for Ramos to consider verbal abuse. Williams was fined $ 17,000 after the game for three code violations. The president of the National Women's Organization asked for the “mental display of men's leadership and discrimination” penalties, and tennis pioneer Billie Jean King said he wanted to call out this double standard.
Williams says in the essay that she took a long time after the controversial game before taking a racquet. And she recalls in the piece the challenges that previously existed: being welcomed by fans, being called names, and being smiled because of her body shape, as well as being unfairly paid for her sex .
“In short, it's never been easy,” writes Williams. “But then I think of the next girl who will come with me who looks like me, and I hope, maybe, my voice will help her. '”
Williams, 37, reached Wimbledon semifinals Tuesday. A victory in the Saturday final would tie her to Margaret Court for the biggest single titles (24).
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Serena Williams' loss does not relate to racism or sexuality. It's a bad rule.
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