Serena Williams
Serena Williams of the United States argues with umpire Carlos Ramos during her Women's Singles finals match against Naomi Osaka of Japan on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City, Sept. 8, 2018. Jaime Lawson/Getty Images for USTA

Serena Williams’ 2018 US Open women’s singles final meltdown and the controversy that followed is the biggest tennis has witnessed in recent memory. It started a debate about sexism in the sport, while it also divided the women’s tour with equal number defending the chair umpire and the player.

The 23-time women’s singles Grand Slam champion accused chair umpire Carlos Ramos of being a sexist after he gave Williams three code violations during her match against Naomi Osaka in the final of the US Open. And one of them was because of on-court coaching, which saw the American launch a tirade against the official.

Williams was adamant that Ramos would not have treated a man in a similar manner and branded him a "liar" and a "thief" after she was docked a point and then later a game for three violations. Many came to her defense including women’s tennis legend Billie Jean King, but she was also criticized for taking the focus away from Osaka, who became the first Japanese player to win a major.

The latest person to talk about the controversy is former Russian tennis player Ekaterina Bychkova, who insists that the reason the incident was blown out of proportion and topics such as sexism and racism were discussed was due to Williams being involved in the match.

The 33-year-old is certain it would not have made headlines had the same incident occurred in the first round of the tournament. Bychkova feels that it being the US Open final and home favorite Williams playing added to the drama.

“There is nothing over natural in the situation, except that it's a Grand Slam final involving Serena Williams,” Bychkova said, as quoted on Tennis World USA. “If it happened in the first round on any other court, it would have not happened anything terrible: the umpire was correct. But since this is the final and there is Serena Williams, everything is covered by other stories: humanity, racism, sexism.”

"He applied the rules and Serena did not respect them. Everything depends on who is on the chair, and Carlos Ramos is this way. I went through a similar situation: I was given a warning and during the break I started complaining with the umpire. He told me: 'Rules are written for you.' Why should someone ignore them? Serena broke her racket in five parts. This was done in a Grand Slam final in front of 21,000 people,” the Russian explained.

Another Russian player and women’s doubles Grand Slam winner Elena Vesnina shared in her compatriot’s views and believes that Williams crossed the limit and moreover, she did not allow Osaka to enjoy the greatest night in her relatively short career.

“Serena cut the limit,” Vesnina said. “She was warned on it and she did not allow Naomi to enjoy the most important win in her life, because Osaka played better and she was stronger in that match.”