She would have snared $3.8 million had she rallied to beat Naomi Osaka in Saturday's final, but she lost her cool and any chance in the second set.
Serena Williams has been fined $US17,000 ($A23,920) for the code violations she received during the U.S. Open final, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have announced.
Williams clashed with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, demanding an apology after he initially issued a warning for a code violation in the second set's second game for receiving coaching, which is not allowed during Grand Slam matches.
According to McEnroe, Ramos should not have given Williams a violation for breaking her racquet and should have warned her early on about what would happen if she did not move on.
Williams was looking to win her 24th Grand Slam singles title, which would have tied her with Australia's Margaret Court for the all-time record. The confrontation continued as an audibly upset Williams approached the umpire chair and demanded an apology from Ramos, while adamantly saying that she did not cheat and receive coaching.
Osaka revealed she was not quite coolness personified, though, saying: "I woke up and I was sweating".
"You definitely can't go back in time but I can't sit here and say I wouldn't say he's a thief because I thought he took a game from me", Williams said.
With this victory and the manner of it, she has positioned herself as the next big hope to succeed Williams as the dominant force in women's tennis. "I know you guys were here rooting and I was rooting too, but let's make this the best moment we can and we'll get through it. Let's give everyone the credit where credit's due".
"Your question is making me emotional", she told a reporter during the post-match press conference. "I really didn't hear anything that was going on".
But it was too late to avoid the offense and the victor, who won her first Grand Slam, cried and was unable to enjoy a historic moment. For me to say "thief" and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. Mouratoglou claimed that Osaka's coach Sascha Bajin was also doing the same.
In 2004, she argued several calls by chair umpire that went against her in a quarterfinal loss to Jennifer Capriati and said she had been "cheated" and "robbed".
Williams added that the incident strengthened her belief that women players are treated differently from their male counterparts. I'm sorry it had to end like this. 'I think I was able to do that because it was my first Grand Slam final. "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".
Verbal abuse is defined as a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting or otherwise. "If you ever see me walking down the hall, look the other way because you're out of control".
Meanwhile, Mouratoglou took to Twitter to also take aim at Ramos.
Most of the sport's infamous brats have been men, and they have often been punished for bad behaviour.
She will head to Tokyo from NY ahead of the Pan Pacific Open, beginning on September 17, and it is likely to be some homecoming for the player born in Japan but raised in the United States.