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F1 champ Lewis Hamilton defends 'inspiration' Serena Williams after US Open umpire row

Serena Williams called the chair umpire a thief during the US Open final against Naomi Osaka

London, September 9: Lewis Hamilton has jumped to the defence of Serena Williams after her stunning outburst during Saturday's US Open final.

How does Serena's US Open final rank against other tennis meltdowns?

During her 6-2 6-4 defeat to Naomi Osaka, Williams was handed a series of code violations by umpire Carlos Ramos - the first of which arrived in the opening set for what the official deemed to be on-court coaching.

Unfairly treated | I did coach her | Other sporting meltdowns

That accusation enraged Williams, who smashed her racket after being broken in the second set and was given a point penalty. The 23-time grand slam champion later confronted Ramos, labelling him a "liar" and a "cheat", for which she was docked a game.

In her post-match news conference, Williams claimed that she would not have been so harshly treated if she was a man, and Formula One world champion took to social media to lend his support to the 36-year-old.

"This woman is one of the greatest athletes of all time," Hamilton posted on Instagram. "I'm so proud of you @serenawilliams and inspired by your greatness, your humility and your fight against all odds. God Bless you guys.

"Forever a champion. This day was sent for a reason, so that you could fulfil your purpose," added Hamilton in a second post.

"What you stand for is far greater than any game won, you're an inspiration for the world and I'm inspired by you.

"Congrats to Naomi Osaka, it's so great to see the mix of cultures and to see people breaking down barriers. #champions #goat."

During the press conference after the US Open final, Williams said the way she was treated amounts to sexism. "He alleged that I was cheating, and I wasn't cheating.

"But I've seen other men call other umpires several things. I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief'."

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    Story first published: Sunday, September 9, 2018, 17:40 [IST]
    Other articles published on Sep 9, 2018
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