Johanna Konta: Serena wrong to blame US Open final defeat on umpire


• ‘I believe it was emotions running high and things snowballing’ Johanna Konta, who relaunches her career under new management and coach in the new year, waved goodbye to an ordinary 2018 on Friday with a late contribution to the Serena Williams debate, declaring she could not side with the all-time great of her sport for the American’s meltdown at the US Open.

Speaking to the Oxford Union about the biggest controversy of the season – when Williams was docked a game that destroyed her momentum in September’s final against the Japanese Naomi Osaka – the world No 37 said the 23-times grand slam champion was wrong to blame her shock defeat on the umpire, Carlos Ramos. Williams called Ramos “a liar” and “a thief” after receiving three code violations in the second set – one for coaching, which was later admitted by her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, yet denied by the player.