FILE PHOTO: Serena Williams of the United States smashes her racket during the women's final against Naomi Osaka of Japan on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in NY, U.S., September 8, 2018.
From there, Williams summoned the tournament referee to the court and said male tennis players were not punished for similar offences.
Osaka made history on the track after 79 minutes of dominance over Williams, but their meeting will be diluted forever by the hostile scenes starring Serena, uncontrolled before the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, whose only fault was to strictly comply the regulation and the ethical code.
It was the second Grand Slam final defeat in a row for Williams, after Wimbledon in July, as she seeks an initial major title since returning to the tour after having a baby in 2017.
Williams first disputed a warning for coaching, was given a point penalty for smashing a racket and then was handed a game violation after unleashing a torrid volley of abuse at Ramos.
Former Australian netball captain Liz Ellis told Sports Sunday that Williams may have tarnished her legacy after her epic meltdown. "Okay, because I know that, like, she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right?"
"I've said far worse", McEnroe, a seven-times Grand Slam singles victor, said on ESPN. The two players met at the net and Williams congratulated Osaka on the win.
Williams was standing on the same side of the court - to the right of the umpire's chair - from where she famously lost her temper twice before.
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The victory made Murray, who won here a year ago with Martina Hingis, the first man to win consecutive US Open mixed doubles titles since Bob Bryan in 2003-04.
"I think she [Serena] went a little bit too far", said 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Chris Evert. "If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way because you're out of control".
During a changeover, Williams resumed her argument with the umpire, this time saying he was attacking her character and was a "thief". She has had a series of run-ins with officials at the Open, the Grand Slam event that she has won six times but that she has also been eliminated from four times in matches with contentious officiating.
"You know how many other men do things - they do much worse than that". Williams argued the call and threatened the lineswoman that she would "shove this [expletive] ball down your [expletive] throat". There's also the weird "abuse" citation, which Ramos doled out because Williams called him a "thief" - certainly far from the worst thing an athlete has called an official during an event.
"I just feel like the fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person who has emotions, and who wants to express herself and wants to be a strong woman". "There's a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things and because they are men [the same punishment] does not happen to them".
"I hope to continue and play here again, but we'll see", she said with a short, knowing laugh.
Williams asked what she'll tell her daughter, Olympia, about what happened Saturday. "Maybe there has to be a supervisor that comes on and has the final say before you give a game away".
"It's weird in the women's game where they have coaching", said Barker.