SERENA WILLIAMS’ US Open final was marred by controversy as she branded the umpire a “thief” during the second set.
Williams was already a set down and had fallen 4-3 behind opponent Naomi Osaka in the second when the incident happened.
The American was deducted a game after branding the umpire a “thief”.
It came after Williams had blasted the umpire for what he perceived as taking instructions from her coach.
"You are a liar. You will never be on a court of mine as long as you live. When are you going to give me my apology. Say you are sorry,” Williams said.
"You are a thief. This is not fair.
Serena Williams issues a tirade at the umpire (Image: EPA)
Serena Williams blasts the tournament official (Image: EPA)
"Because I am a woman you are going to take this away from me."
The code violation happened earlier in the second set but it clearly affected Williams’ game.
She smashed her racket on the court and after going 5-3 down in the second set ranted again.
"This has happened to me before. This is not fair,” Williams said.
Serena Williams was unhappy with a code violation given to her (Image: EPA)
“There are a lot of men out here who have said a lot of things and do not get that punishment.
“Because I am a woman you are going to take this away from me? That is not right."
Fans then began to jeer the referee as tensions in New York boiled over.
But coach Patrick Mouratoglou sad after the match: "If I'm honest I was coaching, [but] I don't think she looked at me."
Serena Williams smashes her racket (Image: EPA)
Williams held serve moments later but Osaka made sure of her first ever Grand Slam triumph, winning 6-2 6-4.
Pat Cash said of the champion: “Osaka was absolutely phenomenal and it will probably be overshadowed in the news by what has happened here.
“I didn't think she was that good. I have seen her improve over the year but I didn't think she was this good. Wow.”