Umpires ‘could boycott Serena Williams matches’ after US Open outburst
Umpires aggrieved at the treatment of Carlos Ramos by Serena Williams during the US Open final could boycott the American’s matches, a report in The Times has suggested.
Ramos was branded a "liar" and a "thief" by the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who later claimed sexism was behind his decision to dock her a game during Saturday’s defeat to Naomi Osaka.
The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) were among those to back Williams in the aftermath of her outburst.
- WTA back Williams’ sexism claims
- ‘Women are hysterical; men are outspoken’ – King defends Serena
- 'I felt like it was sexist' - Serena rages about double standards
- Osaka wins US Open after huge Serena and umpire controversy
"An anonymous official told The Times that there was a growing consensus that umpires were not supported by the USTA on several occasions, and that Ramos was thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it. Umpires are discussing whether they could take action to stand up for their profession. One suggestion being floated is to refuse any match assignments involving Williams until she apologises for vilifying Ramos and calling him a “liar” and a “thief”."
Amid the commotion, Osaka – already a set up before the first violation – held her nerve to become Japan’s first winner at a major.
Naomi Osaka of Japan after winning the Women's Singles finals match alongside runner up Serena Williams of the United StatesGetty Images
The International Tennis Federation offered support for Ramos on Monday evening, saying in a statement: "Mr Ramos’s decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were reaffirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Ms Williams for the three offences."
Ramos penalised Williams for on-court coaching (first violation), racket abuse (second violation, point penalty) and calling him a "thief" (third violation, game penalty). Williams demanded to speak to the tournament referee after the final decision, but it was not overturned.
The US Open fined Williams $17,000 for her protestations, although she collected $1.85 million for finishing runner-up at Flushing Meadows.
Earlier, WTA chief Steve Simon said Ramos would have responded differently had a men’s player reacted in a similar way.
"The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women. We do not believe that this was done," Simon said in a statement.
USTA chief Katrina Adams said that men "are badgering the umpire on the changeovers and nothing happens".
She added: "There's no equality when it comes to what the men are doing to the chair umpires and what the women are doing, and I think there has to be some consistency across the board.
"I'm all about gender equality and I think when you look at that situation these are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks. We have to treat each other fairly and the same."