2018 Tennis U.S. Open
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The 2018 Tennis U.S. Open was the 138th annual U.S. Open tennis tournament held in New York city, New York between August 27th and September 9th, 2018.
The 2018 U.S. Open began on August 27th, 2018 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York. Novak Djokovic won the Men's Singles competition, and Naomi Osaka won the Female's singles competition. Mark Bryan and Jack Sock won the Men's Doubles compeititon, and Ashleigh Barty and CoCo Vandeweghe won the Women's Doubles competition. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jamie Murray took the Mixed Doubles competition. Thiago Seyboth Wild won the Junior Boys' Singles. Wang Xiyu won the Junior Girls' Singles. Adrian Andreev and Anton Matusevich won Junior Boys' Doubles, and Cori Gauff and Caty McNally won Junior Girls' Doubles. Alfie Hewett won the Wheelchair Men's Singles. Diede de Groot won the Wheelchair Women's Singles. Dylan Alcott won the Wheelchair Quad Singles competition. Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid won the Wheelchair Men's Doubles. Diede de Groot and Yui Kamiji won the Wheelchair Women's Doubles. Andrew Lapthorne and David Wagner won the Wheelchair Quad Doubles competition.
Women's Finals Controversy
During the Women's Finals matchup between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka on September 8th, 2018, a verbal argument between Williams and official Carlos Ramos sparked a controversy about the perceived double standard regarding how men and women are treated by officials in sports. The dispute began when Ramos gave Williams a code violation for coaching after noticing her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, making a hand gesture in Williams's player's box (shown below).
Mouratoglou later admitted that he was attempting to coach but stated that this is common practice within the sport.
Coaching or not ?#usopen pic.twitter.com/OATS0LE2Y2
— Ashish TV Slams (@ashishtvslams) September 8, 2018
Williams interpreted the violation as an accusation of cheating and approached Ramos during the match to defend herself (video below). She told him, "I don't cheat to win. I'd rather lose."
Later in the match, Williams threw her racquet to the ground and broke it. The move is an automatic code violation, which resulted in a point penalty due to the fact that Williams had already received a code violation for coaching earlier.
sonofthebronx: Serena Williams slams down her racket ESPN U.S. Open Tennis: Women's Championship https://t.co/bWabazCyBn pic.twitter.com/RpvnKd5Syx— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) September 8, 2018
Following the second violation and subsequent point penalty, Williams and Ramos continued to argue. Williams, who maintained her innocence for the first violation, insisted that Ramos apologize for what she saw as an attack on her character. In a series of arguments, Williams said, "For you to attack my character, then something is wrong,” Williams said. “It’s wrong. You are attacking my character […] 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. You stole a point from me. You're a thief too."
sonofthebronx: Serena Williams: "You stole a point from me. You're a thief too." ESPN U.S. Open Tennis: Women's Championship https://t.co/oye1H9Pekp pic.twitter.com/Tp1dStGxNi— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) September 8, 2018
Osaka won the match, but the controversy between Williams and Ramos overshadowed the victory. William maintained that she had been treated unfairly, accusing the official of exemplifying a double standard by treating her differently than he would a man. In her post-match press conference, Williams said, "He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief,' but I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things.”
Several celebrities on Twitter agreed with Williams, including champion tennis player Billie Jean King (shown below, left), talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres (shown below, center) and actor Reese Witherspoon (shown below, right).
However, some agreed with the official. Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith said Williams was wrong, pointing to various examples in which men had been given violations for similar actions. Video of his commentary (shown below) received more than 200 retweets and 1,300 likes in 24 hours.
"Serena Williams was wrong. Somebody has to say it, so I will. "
-- @stephenasmith pic.twitter.com/UuRvu5ME7P
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 10, 2018
On September 9th, Redditor  ISxC posted about the controversy in the /r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit.
Herald Sun Cartoon Controversy
On September 10th, 2018, The Herald Sun Australian newspaper published a cartoon by Mark Knight of the match between Williams and Osaka, portraying Williams with enlarged red lips and a squarish body jumping on her racquet (shown below), and the umpire saying to Osaka, who is portrayed as having white skin, "Can you just let her win?"
Following its publication, many criticized the cartoon as having the similar designs to racially insensitive cartoons. Twitter user @TByrne75 tweeted, "Undeniable facts about that #markknight cartoon : 1. Williams is depicted with exaggerated racial features. 2. Her Japanese opponent is depicted as having blonde (!!) hair. 3. The Portugese umpire is depicted as being Anglo-Saxon. But, sure, its not about race." The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 1,000 retweets and 4,200 likes in two days.
Twitter @stonecold2050 tweeted, "Shame on racist Mark Knight the cartoonist for Melbourne’s Herald Sun. The cartoonist depicted Williams with grotesquely racist features & showed her stomping on her tennis racquet & spitting out a pacifier while the referee and opponent are depicted as calm, slender white people." The tweet (shown below, center) 100 retweets and 280 likes in 24 hours.
Twitter user @bridgeyb tweeted, "Here in the US, swift and angry condemnation of Mark Knight's Serena cartoon. National Association of Black Journalists calling it 'repugnant on many levels' and 'sambo-like'." The tweet (shown below, right) received more than 880 retweets and 2,700 likes in two days.
The following day, the Herald Sun published the cartoon on their cover, along with other cartoons that they have published in the past. The cover (shown below) contains the headline "Welcome to PC World: If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed."
Some reacted negatively to the cover, as well, calling the cover a display of "whataboutism," a means of deflection that aims to charge one's opponent of hypocrisy without engaging with the criticism (examples below).
Twitter user @NerdPyle tweeted, "In case you were wondering, the racist charicature of Serena Willliams drawn by Mark Knight is strongly backed by his employer, the Herald Sun, which is a subsidiary of News Corp Australia, a subsidiary of News Corp, which is chaired by Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News. Shocker." The tweet (shown below, right) received more than 2,500 retweets and 8,900 likes in two days.
Twitter published two Moments pages about the controversy. Numerous news outlets published articles and editorials, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, ESPN and more.
Meryl Streep Reaction
On September 9th, Academy Award-winning actor Meryl Streep attended the Men's Finals match between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martín del Potro. During the game, cameras recorded Streep giving a shocked facial expression, with her mouth agape and her hands on her cheek. That day, the U.S. Open's official Twitter  account tweeted a GIF of the reaction with the caption, "And the award for best performance by a fan in a leading role goes to… 🏆🙀🎞🎥 #USOpen." The tweet (shown below) received more than 4,000 retweets and 15,000 likes in 24 hours.
And the award for best performance by a fan in a leading role goes to…
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2018
Online, people used a screen capture of the moment as a reaction image, similar to previous viral photographs of Meryl Streep. The Twitter account @SBNation tweeted the image with the caption, Meryl Streep's latest role is the 😱 emoji #USOpen." The tweet (shown below, left) received more than 330 retweets and 1,700 likes in 24 hours. The Twittter account @TennisInsideOut captioned the photo, "When you experience the DelPo fearhand for the first time live… 😛🔥🎾 #DelPotro #Streep #USOpen." Within 24 hours, the tweet (shown below, center) received more than 55 retweets and 420 likes in 24 hours. Twitter user @extraordinaryo tweeted the photograph with the caption, "when you watch mamma mia 2 for the first time (meryl the meme streep) #USOpen." Within 24 hours, the tweet (shown below, right) received more than 100 retweets and 640 likes.
That day, Twitter published a Moments page on the popularity of the reaction image.
Several media outlets covered the popularity of the image, including TIME, Vogue, Mashable  and more.
 Wikipedia – 2018 US Open
 Twitter – @usopen's Tweet
 Twitter – @SBNation's Tweet
 Twitter – @TennisInsideOut's Tweet
 Twitter – @extraordinaryo's Tweet
 Twitter – Meryl Streep stole the show at the US Open
 Time – Meryl Streep Had the Most Dramatic Reactions at US Open
 Vogue – A New Meryl Streep Meme Is Born at the US Open
 Mashable – Tennis fan Meryl Streep has the best reactions at the U.S. Open
 The New York Times – Serena Williams vs. Naomi Osaka: How the U.S. Open Descended Into Chaos
 Reddit – What happened in the women's final of the US Open?
 The Herald Sun – Mark Knight’s cartoon rightly mocks Serena Williams’ US Open finals dummy-spit
 Twitter – @TByrne75's Tweet
 Twitter – @stonecold2050's Tweet
 Twitter – @bridgeyb's Tweet
 Twitter- @alistaircoleman's Tweet
 Twitter – @NerdPyle's Tweet
 Twitter – Australian cartoonist condemned for depiction of Serena Williams
 Twitter – Australian newspaper the Herald Sun doubles down on Serena Williams cartoon
 The Washington Post – What the Herald Sun’s Serena Williams cartoon reveals about Australia’s racial history
 The New York Times – Serena Williams Cartoon, Called Racist, Gets New Life on Paper’s Front Page
 ESPN – Newspaper reprints controversial Serena Williams cartoon with headline 'Welcome to the PC World'
Sep 10, 2018 at 02:42PM EDT
Sep 10, 2018 at 02:15PM EDT
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