Tennis umpires consider forming union, boycotting over Serena Williams drama

Sheri SchwartzSep 13, 2018

A much more sinister plotline came from Serena's controversial penalization at Saturday's women's final against Naomi Osaka, with the 23-time Grand Slam victor accusing chair umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism. "The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA", Richard Ings, a former top-level umpire who is now retired, told ESPN.

Remarkably, Ramos will make a swift return to the umpire chair as he will officiate the Davis Cup clash between the USA and Croatia in what can be considered a questionable appointment given the various criticism the Portuguese has received over the last few days. "They feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls".

Williams, who called Ramos a "liar" and "thief" during the match she lost to Naomi Osaka, has alleged sexism played a role in the umpire docking her a game on Saturday.

During her upset loss to Japan's Naomi Osaka, Williams argued with chair umpire Carlos Ramos, and was first warned, then penalized a point, then a game.

Umpires are reportedly considering a boycott of future Serena Williams tennis matches, according to an anonymous source in The Times.

Speaking to Tribuna Expresso in his native Portugal, Carlos Ramos said: "I'm fine, given the circumstances. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished - and not just in tennis", Navratilova said.

Another person identified as an "senior figure" told the Guardian that umpires felt Ramos was "hung out to dry" after the incident and that "no one is standing up for officials" amid reports that the incident is fueling talks of a boycott. Asked to address the disparity in Williams' fines and Roger Federer's $1,500 fine for an expletive-laden outburst during the 2009 U.S. Open men's final, Adams said the fines are up to the discretion of the grand slam administrator, not the USTA.

When the violation was announced Williams approached Ramos to insist she never takes coaching and would rather lose than "cheat to win".

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) have backed those claims following Williams' straight sets defeat to Osaka. But, he said, "We recognize that the officials we use from around the world are very good at what they do". ". Obviously Naomi deserved to win and she played unbelievable", Curry said.

Ramos will return to the chair on Friday, officiating the men's semi-final of the Davis Cup, he confirmed.

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