The Serena Williams US Open controversy rages on. After Serena Williams lost in the final to Naomi Osaka on Saturday, all anyone could talk about was Williams’ altercation with umpire Carlos Ramos that led to her being fined $17,000. Williams received warnings for receiving coaching and breaking a racket, before she was docked a game for calling Ramos a “thief.”
In the fallout of the incident, the U.S. Tennis Association and Women’s Tennis Association both came out in support of Williams. The USTA praised Williams for her conduct after the match, whereas WTA CEO Steve Simon said that “there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women.”
In response, umpires are reportedly threatening to boycott Williams’ matches, as they feel that Ramos is being unfairly criticized for his conduct during the match, according to The Times of London. Retired umpire Richard Ings confirmed to ESPN that umpires feel that Ramos is being vilified.
“The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA,” Ings said on Tuesday, via ESPN. “They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos. They feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls.”
Simon also addressed the possibility of making coaching legal, saying that “we also think the issue of coaching needs to be addressed and should be allowed across the sport. The WTA supports coaching through its on-court coaching rule, but further review is needed.”
The International Tennis Federation did wholeheartedly back Ramos, saying in its statement that “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 U.S. Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offenses.”