Serena Williams on Coach: ‘Don’t Understand What He Was Talking About’

Tennis star again says she wasn't coached in US Open Final
September 24, 2018 Updated: September 24, 2018

Serena Williams again spoke about the controversy surrounding her U.S. Open Final loss earlier this month.

Williams said she didn’t understand why her coach admitted to giving signals from the sidelines during the match, which drew a penalty from the umpire, Carlos Ramos. Williams then broke her racket and argued with Ramos, drawing more penalties, which led to her loss to Naomi Osaka.

Touching on her angry outburst, she said that she wasn’t being coached during the match. Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, after the final, however, said that he was coaching her.

“I just don’t understand what he was talking about because I asked him, you weren’t coaching, we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals—and he said he made a motion,” she said, reported The Associated Press on Sept. 24.

“So you said you made a motion, now you told people that you’re coaching me; that doesn’t make sense. Why would you say that?” she added in reference to a discussion with her coach.

AP reported that her publicist stepped in during the interview when she was asked about breaking her racket.

Williams was subsequently fined $17,000 for the penalties during the final.

The six-time U.S. Open champion said she’s trying to move on from the incident.

serena williams osaka
Serena Williams yells at umpire Carlos Ramos during her Women’s Singles finals match against Naomi Osaka of Japan in New York City, on Sept. 8, 2018. (Jaime Lawson/Getty Images for USTA)

“What I’m just trying to do most of all is to just recover from that,” she said, AP reported.

In an interview last week, Williams made a similar statement about coaching to another news outlet. During the match, she also insisted that she wasn’t being coached.

I didn’t get coaching,” Williams said during the match. “I don’t cheat! I didn’t get coaching. How can you say that? You owe me an apology. I have never cheated in my life!” The third warning she got came when she called the umpire a “thief,” Fox News reported.

“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!” Williams said to Ramos.

Mouratoglou had said after the match: “I’m honest, I was coaching. I mean, I don’t think she looked at me so that’s why she didn’t even think I was. But I was like 100 percent of the coaches on [sic] 100 percent of the matches.”

On Sept 12, Ramos said that after the match, he was “fine, given the circumstances,” Time magazine reported. He was referring to the controversy around the officiating during the match. “It’s a delicate situation, but umpiring ‘a la carte’ doesn’t exist. Don’t worry about me,” he said.