September 8, 2018
Serena Williams talks with referee Brian Earley during the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in New York. (Adam Hunger/AP)
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NEW YORK — The events and the arguing and the booing that would make this a U.S. Open final unlike any other began when Serena Williams’ coach made what she insisted was an innocent thumbs-up, but the chair umpire interpreted as a helpful signal.