Williams received criticism for the way she handled the US Open Final.
Back in 2018, Serena Williams battled Naomi Osaka in the US Open final, with Osaka coming away victorious. It was Osaka's first ever Grand Slam title although it was quickly overshadowed by Williams' frustrations. At times during the match, Williams was tested by the referee which led to some on-court outbursts. Williams was accused of receiving coaching from the stands which led the tennis star to accuse the umpire of being a "liar." It felt as though Osaka wasn't able to enjoy her moment and at one point, she was even in tears.
Today, Williams penned an essay for Harper's Bazaar in which she talks about the 2018 US Open Final and how she feels bad about how things went. In the essay, Williams apologizes to Osaka and even admits that she went to therapy after the tournament.
“This debacle ruined something that should have been amazing and historic,” Williams wrote. “Not only was a game taken from me but a defining, triumphant moment was taken from another player. [...] I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racket.”
Osaka was eventually booed after her US Open and seemed to be quite shaken by it all. Williams apologized for this as well and explained how she's supportive of Osaka and her career.
“I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again," Willaims said. "I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away.