Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Tennis umpire finally speaks out on Serena Williams US Open outburst

Tennis umpire finally speaks out on Serena Williams US Open outburst

Former world number one Billie Jean King has softened her initial stance on the controversy over Serena Williams, who was "totally out of line" when she vehemently disputed calls by chair umpire Carlos Ramos during Saturday's U.S. Open final.

In response to swelling criticisms of Ramos' officiating, some umpires, though technically not allowed to talk with the press, are speaking out on behalf of the fraternity of tennis referees.

Meanwhile, tennis umpires are also considering forming a union as they feel no one is standing up for them.

The second and third violations earned Williams a point penalty and then a game penalty, giving Osaka a 5-3 second set lead that effectively gifted her the title.

"I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a Grand Slam final", Djokovic said in the aftermath of his US Open victory against Juan Martin del Potro.

"Umpires are just upset", he said.

"I do not believe there is a formal boycott in place so I do not think we need to take any action in regards to a boycott", a spokesman for the U.S. Tennis Association told HuffPost on Wednesday. He acted "at all times with professionalism and integrity" during Saturday's showdown, the ITF said in a statement on BBC.

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Williams was fined $17,000 for the rules violations, and the International Tennis Federation backed Ramos, saying his "decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules". Asked to address the disparity in Williams' fines and Roger Federer's $1,500 fine for an expletive-laden outburst during the 2009 U.S. Open men's final, Adams said the fines are up to the discretion of the grand slam administrator, not the USTA.

During a changeover, Williams resumed her argument with the umpire, this time saying he was attacking her character and was a "thief".

The ITF sided with Ramos - two days later - calling him "one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis".

"I have a daughter, and I stand for what's right for her", Williams shouted. She said on Tuesday both sides shared the blame for the incident.

He is expected to be on duty as planned for this week's Davis Cup semi-final in Zadar where Croatia are hosting the United States.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) also supported Williams' claims, while Billie Jean King, founder of the WTA and victor of 12 grand slam singles titles, told CNN Tuesday that though Williams was "out of line", Ramos had aggravated the situation.

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