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Serena Williams’s meltdown is a sign that tennis lies at a crossroads | Kevin Mitchell


Leading players must take responsibility for guiding the sport through good times and bad during this period of change

Many fine things happened at the 50th US Open, none better than Naomi Osaka’s dignified arrival and Novak Djokovic’s mighty return, none worse than Serena Williams’s meltdown. Nevertheless the sport overall is in rude health on court, even if some of the people who run it would struggle to get a start organising lifeboats on the Titanic.

There were many surreal moments at Flushing Meadows – as there invariably are in this crazy business – from the way umpire Mohamed Lahyani got down from his chair to comfort Nick Kyrgios in full tank mode to the composure of his colleague, Carlos Ramos, who played it straight and refused to accommodate the illogical rant of Williams in the women’s final and then was subjected to the equally odd ire of officials more concerned with appeasing their star player than supporting a fine umpire for doing his job.

Related: Naomi Osaka admits she was 'a little bit sad' as US Open win ended in boos

Related: Serena Williams was right about women’s treatment but wrong on Saturday | Kevin Mitchell

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