AFP London, United Kingdom
Jul 10, 2019, 01.03 PM
Serena Williams revealed Tuesday that she consulted a therapist after her infamous 2018 US Open final meltdown in which her bitter war of words with the umpire overshadowed Naomi Osaka's maiden Grand Slam victory.
The American superstar was widely vilified for her New York outburst in which she branded the chair umpire a "liar" and "thief".
She was handed a code violation for coaching,docked a point for smashing her racquet and penalised a game for verbal abuse.
"I couldn't find peace. I started seeing a therapist," Williams wrote in a first-person account published in US glossy magazine Harper's Bazaar.
"I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn't ready to pick up a racquet."
Williams's essay appeared online and on her own Instagram account in the middle of her Wimbledon quarter-final defeat of Alison Riske on Tuesday.
In it, she says she has apologised to Osaka, the breakout Japanese star who won the US Open final in straight sets.
"I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other," said the 37-year-old Williams.
"I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you.
"I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete."