During the ESPN broadcast of the trophy ceremony, Williams tried to quiet the racuous, booing crowd of 20,000-plus and put her arm around Osaka. For me to say 'thief, ' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. Osaka also named Williams as one of her idols and understandably was very happy to have the 23-time Grand Slam champion's blessing despite the controversial outcome. She used her powerful serve and groundstrokes to outhit Williams in the final on Saturday.
Over the course of the fortnight, Osaka defeated Laura Siegemund, Julia Glushko, Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Aryna Sabalenka, Lesia Tsurenko and 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys to claim her place in the final.
Much of the criticism of Williams has centred on how her actions had spoiled a precious moment for Osaka, who was even moved to apologise for beating the home favourite to a NY crowd angrily booing Ramos.
As Williams fell apart, Osaka showed maturity by staying cool to close out her maiden Grand Slam title.
For her part, Osaka is not thinking too much about how her identity is perceived. "If it's like this, let me know", Strycova said.
"At the time, I did kind of think they were booing at me 'cause I couldn't tell what was going on because it was just so loud in there, so it was a little bit stressful". The Serbian added, "I don't think it's [the] time and place really to get into other subjects".
Osaka, now ranked seventh in the world, is aiming to qualify for the WTA Finals in Singapore at the end of the season. And what seems to have escaped many of his critics is the fact that Osaka actually was sporting a dyed blonde ponytail during the match in question. "And that work ethic is the same whether you are a man or a woman".
Asked how she felt about being a role model for young children, Osaka gave mixed signals.