Serena Williams. (Getty)

  • Serena Williams was shown as an angry baby in a cartoon published on Monday by the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun.
  • The cartoon also shows Naomi Osaka, a dark-skinned Japanese woman, as a white blonde.
  • The cartoon has faced a backlash for the way it depicts Williams' losing her cool in Saturday's US Open final against Osaka, who won in straight sets.


Serena Williams was portrayed as an angry baby in a cartoon published in the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun on Monday, two days after the 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion lost her cool in a dramatic US Open final.

Williams was given three code violations during her straight-sets loss to Naomi Osaka on Saturday.

The first violation was for coaching, which Williams argued against. "I don't cheat to win — I'd rather lose," she said.

Williams was later given a violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point. Her third violation, for calling the umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief," cost her a game.

She repeatedly demanded an apology from Ramos. Speaking with the referee to protest Ramos' call, she argued that male players weren't punished for similar, or worse, actions. "Because I'm a woman, you're going to take this away from me?" she said.

Williams was fined $17,000, which is deducted from her prize money of $1.85 million as the tournament's runner-up, according to the Associated Press.

In response, the Herald Sun's editorial cartoonist, Mark Knight, lampooned Williams in his latest piece.

Williams is shown with grotesque features including an oversize nose and lips and is pictured jumping up and down with a broken racket and a pacifier nearby, insinuating that Williams acted like a baby having a temper tantrum during the final.

At the same time, the cartoon pictured the 20-year-old Osaka, one of the rising stars in women's tennis, as a white blonde even though she is a dark-skinned Japanese woman.

Here is the cartoon:

The cartoon provoked an angry response on Twitter.

"Regardless of the rights and wrongs of Williams' behaviour, I really don't like that cartoon at all," one Twitter user said. "Why is Naomi Osaka suddenly transformed into a white, blonde player? Why is Carlos Ramos white too? And why are Serena Williams' facial features distorted like that?"

Another Twitter user said: "Thank you for this cartoon. I will be sure to use it when I write about how Black women are treated and characterised for speaking up for themselves. The way you have drawn both women speaks volumes about who you are and how you feel about Black women. Shame."

A polarising US Open final

While Osaka beat Williams in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, headlines did not focus on her first major win, instead fixating on Williams' hat trick of code violations.

The decision to reprimand Williams polarised the tennis industry and wider sporting press, especially after Williams claimed she had been treated differently than a male tennis player would have been. Ben Rothenberg, a freelance journalist for The New York Times, argued on Twitter that all sanctions were fair.

The US tennis great Billie Jean King, however, suggested Williams had indeed identified a double standard in tennis

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