Umpire backlash leads to talk of a boycott of Serena Williams' matches

Sergio Cunningham
September 13, 2018

The CEO of USTA, the governing body of tennis in the US, was asked if she believes female players are held to different standards than men.

The tennis umpire that came under fire from player, Serena Williams, after he called three violations on her during the U.S. Open Final is speaking up for the first time since, saying he's "fine".

The WTA and USTA appeared to support Williams after her outbursts in a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka. She and Mr. Ramos were, in effect, talking past each other.

If the contract goes through, this would be the biggest deal the sportswear giant has ever given to a female tennis player and it could propel Osaka up the ranks on Forbes' 2018 list of highest paid female athletes, which Williams now leads.

King also penned an essay with the Washington Post that expanded on the ways that Williams, in particular, is treated differently than other athletes because of her identity. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard.

This incident highlights a need to consider changing the rules of tennis, to make them more consistent across tournaments and players.

Williams, who missed a chance to claim a record-equalling 24th grand slam singles title, refused to answer questions during the presentations but asked the crowd to stop booing and congratulate Osaka in her moment of glory.

He also made a decision to stay indoors the day after to avoid any angry fans.

"It's sad for the sport when a player tries to become bigger than the rules".

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"Ramos, effectively, had no choice but to dock her a point", Navratilova said.

Williams accused Ramos of sexism after the match and pointed out that male players have been more aggressive verbally with umpires than she was, but had been not been penalized the same way. He later admitted the offence, which is not allowed in the sport but is rarely punished. "I'd rather lose." The match unraveled after that.

But Williams isn't the first player to take issue with Ramos's strict interpretation of the rules.

During a subsequent changeover, Murray said: "I didn't say "stupid umpire", I said "stupid umpiring".

Then, after losing a game, Williams incurred a second penalty for smashing her racket.

Later this week, it was no longer only Williams and Ramos being criticized for their conduct, but also an Australian cartoonist for his depiction of the incident.

"I felt like everyone was sort of unhappy up there and I know that it wasn't really... the ending wasn't what people wanted it to be". Retired umpire Richard Ings confirmed to ESPN that umpires feel that Ramos is being vilified.

Ings once issued a warning, point penalty and a game penalty against McEnroe at the 1987 US Open for obscenities directed at the umpire.

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