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International Tennis Federation backs umpire Carlos Ramos in Serena Williams' US Open controversy

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 12 Sep 2018
  • The International Tennis Federation has backed umpire Carlos Ramos following his controversial handling of Saturday's US Open women's singles final.
  • Williams was hit with a game penalty after receiving three code violations
Serena Williams argues with umpire Carlos Ramos during her Womens Singles final. (Photo by Jaime Lawson/Getty Images for USTA)

The International Tennis Federation, ITF has backed umpire Carlos Ramos following the controversial US Open women's singles final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. 

Contesting her first major final, 20-year-old Osaka put in a nerveless display to beat her idol, Williams 6-2 6-4, but most of the post-match headlines have been about the altercation between Ramos and Williams, who received a game penalty for repeated code violations. 

The incident has since provoked several reactions, and tennis' governing, the ITF has now stated it's take on the controversial final. 

In a statement released by the ITF, the body threw its weight behind its official, Ramos, insisting that he umpire acted with professionalism and integrity. 

“Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis. Mr. Ramos’ decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were re-affirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offences.”

“It is understandable that this high profile and regrettable incident should provoke debate. At the same time, it is important to remember that Mr. Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”

Osaka had played superbly to take a dominant first set, but the chaos started early in the second, when Williams was given a coaching violation after the umpire spotted her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou making hand gestures towards the 23-time Grand Slam champion. Communication of any sort is banned between player and coach in Grand Slam matches. 

Williams marched towards the chair umpire, and protested her innocence in a chilly but measured manner: "I don't cheat to win, I'd rather lose", she said. 

Mouratoglou later admitted to attempting to coach Serena, but he also mentioned that he didn't think the player saw him. 

The relationship between Williams and umpire Ramos continued to be tense, and it boiled over a few games later when Williams received a second code violation for smashing a racket in frustration. As per the rules, a second code violation comes with a point penalty. 

This was where Williams totally lost her cool. She persistently called Ramos a 'thief' and a 'liar' and demanded an apology from the umpire. 

Ramos instead hit the American with a third code violation for verbal abuse, which, again by the rule book, carries a game penalty. An enraged Williams continued her tirade against Ramos, demanding to speak to the tournament referee.

Williams protested through her tears, arguing that male players get away with worse offenses. This assertion has since been backed by the Women's Tennis Association, the WTA, whose chief executive, Steve Simon said in a statement: "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."

The US Open final continued with Serena serving to stay in the match at 3-5 in the second set- she held convincingly to the delight of a pumped New York crowd- but Osaka, apparently oblivious to the chaos around her, showed nerves of steel to serve out a sensational performance, and claim her first Grand Slam title. 


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International Tennis Federation backs umpire Carlos Ramos in Serena Williams' US Open controversy

The International Tennis Federation has backed umpire Carlos Ramos following his controversial handling of Saturday's US Open women's singles final.

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