Tennis umpires 'thoroughly disturbed' by lack of support from WTA

13 September, 2018, 04:18 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
  • Serena Williams clashed with umpire Carlos Ramos in the US Open final. Pic GettyMore

Speaking about Saturday's controversial US Open final, Billie Jean King, the tennis legend and equal rights advocate, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that Serena Williams was "out of line", but umpire Carlos Ramos aggravated the situation.

Williams was docked a game during the defeat to Naomi Osaka for verbally abusing umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him a "thief" and a "liar" after he deducted a point from her for previous violations - coaching and smashing her racket.

There is a lot of unhappiness in the umpiring community because no one is standing up for officials.

The sport's top umpires have felt that Ramos "was hung out to dry" and are miffed with the fact that ITF took 48 hours to issue a statement, according to The Guardian.

"Umpires don't have any independent means of representation and are employed by the governing bodies. At the same time, it is important to remember that Mr Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rulebook and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity".

Williams explained her anger in the post-match media conference.

In the wake of Osaka's first Grand Slam triumph, there were messages of support for Williams as well as those condemning her behaviour and agreeing with the umpire's calls. "Because I am a woman you are going to take this away from me?"

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It is bad enough that a star of Williams stature exploded in such a politically charged rant at the judge, but what hurt the judges even more is that both the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) came to Williams' support on her charges against the judge.

With the new endorsement deal, Osaka could become the second highest-paid woman, above fellow tennis player Caroline Wozniacki but one rung below Williams.

For the first time since the match, Ramos has spoken up, telling Tribuna Expresso in his native Portugal that "I'm fine, given the circumstances. We do not believe that this was done last night". While the USTA issued a statement saying that all players could change their shirts at their chair, former ATP VP Richard Ings, who did not name a source, said that umpires had been specifically told before the tournament began that female players could not change attire on the court.

Williams later smashed her racquet, resulting in a code violation and a point deduction, which she argued over with Ramos.

The WTA later called for equal treatment of all tennis players and coaching to be allowed across the sport. "We shouldn't have to carry that extra weight on our back in anything that we do", she said of women in tennis.

BBC tennis presenter Sue Barker expressed similar sentiments while saying, "I've sat courtside watching the men ranting at umpires and they haven't been given a violation".

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