As fallout continues from Saturday’s heated U.S. Open final that saw Naomi Osaka defeat Serena Williams in a match marred by conflict and controversy, tennis umpires are having their say.
They’re not pleased with Williams or what they see as a lack of support from the tennis world for chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who was on the receiving end of a heated outburst from the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
The Times of London reports that there is a growing consensus that umpires feel they were “not supported by the USTA” on several occasions, and cite one anonymous source claiming that umpires are considering boycotting matches played by Williams.
The source tells The Times that some umpires believe that Ramos was “thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it” and that they are considering “to refuse any match assignments involving Williams until she apologises for vilifying Ramos and calling him a ‘liar’ and a ‘thief.’”
Williams was assessed three code violations during the loss to Osaka. Ramos warned her against receiving coaching early in the second set, which Williams protested.
A frustrated Williams later smashed her racket and accused Ramos of sexism for assessing penalties that she believes he would not have given to a man. Williams called Ramos a thief and demanded an apology. The third code violation resulted in a game penalty for Williams.
Williams explained her anger in the post-match media conference.
“He never took a game from a man because he said ‘thief,’” Williams said. “For me it blows my mind, but I’m going to continue to fight for women. The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person.”
Williams was later fined $17,000 for her outburst.