Serena Williams Says She Wasn't Being Coached During Polarizing U.S. Open Final

Serena Williams is confused as to why her coach said he was sending her signals from the stands.

More than two weeks after she lost to Naomi Osaka in a U.S. Open Final that will remain (in)famous for her altercations with the umpire Carlos Ramos (rather than what was done on the court), Serena Williams is still miffed by her coach's claims that he was sending her signals from the stands. For those of you who somehow ducked this story, the allegations of illegal coaching led to vehement denials from Williams that ultimately overshadowed the match. Williams was given a code violation for coaching, which came in addition to a point penalty for smashing her racket, and she was also docked a game for verbal abuse. She was later fined $17,000.

Despite Williams' insistence that she wasn't taking cues during the match, her coach (Patrick Mouratoglou) told ESPN that he was given her signals, while also stating that the code violation was selective enforcement.

“I’m honest, I was coaching. I don’t think [Serena] looked at me, so that’s why she didn’t think I was (coaching)," Mouratoglou said at the time. "But I was, like 100 percent of the coaches on 100 percent of the matches. So we have to stop this hypocrite thing. [Osaka’s coach] was coaching every point too." He further stated that the coaching violation was the first he'd gotten in his life.

16 days after that polarizing call, Williams maintained her innocence of the coaching claim (though this is where we should/will point you to that part where Mouratoglou said he didn't think Serena was looking at him).

“I just don’t understand what [coach Patrick Mouratoglou] was talking about because I asked him, you weren’t coaching, we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals and he said he made a motion,” Williams said during an interview for the Sunday Project with Australia's Network Ten. "So you said you made a motion, now you told people that you’re coaching me. That doesn’t make sense, why would you say that?

"I was on the other side. I didn't see the motion. It was just a really confusing moment, I think, for him. What I'm trying to do most of all is to recover from that and move on."

Network Ten also asked Williams if she regretted the racket smashing, which she did not answer (and which reportedly resulted in her publicist intervening off camera before the interviewer got super nervous). Check it out below (and if the time embed doesn't work, the relevant portion is at 5:45):

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