Peter Bruce Editor-at-large & columnist

You’d think the world was ending. I didn’t watch the US Open women’s singles final live on Saturday night but I woke to a firestorm the next morning after Serena Williams had been beaten by a young pretender, Naomi Osaka. Williams, now 37 and chasing Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slams record had gone into full meltdown with the final’s umpire Carlos Ramos over a series of penalties, the last of which cost her a game. It’s important to understand that Osaka was a worthy winner. But it was still Williams’ day. She called the umpire and liar and a thief, claimed she was standing up for women who are routinely bullied in tennis while the men get away with really bad behaviour. It was, arguably, the worst meltdown on a tennis court ever. My own view is that at the top of professional sport, the refs and umpires rule. Williams’ point about women getting a worse deal than men in the sport may be valid and many top women (and male) players backed her on social media. But she has form with umpi...

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