Tennis star Serena Williams was hit with a $17,000 fine by the U.S. Tennis Association for her outbursts in the finals of the U.S. Open on Saturday.
She was fined $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $4,000 for having to be warned for coaching, and $3,000 for breaking her racket. The money will be deducted from the $1.85 million she won for finishing second in the tournament.
Williams blasted Ramos on several occasions in the second set of her finals match against Japan’s Naomi Osaka. The first outburst happened after Ramos warned Williams about receiving in-match coaching, which is not allowed in Grand Slam tournaments.
Williams vigorously denied receiving any coaching.
“I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” Williams told Ramos.
Later in the set, Williams was broken by Osaka to get back on serve at 3-2. Williams, the 24-time grand slam champion, smashed her racket in frustration.
For that she was hit with a code violation. What could have been a warning became a one-point penalty, however, because she had already received a warning. Down 3-2, love-15, she blew up again.
"You owe me an apology!"
Serena was fired up with the official in the final set of the US Open final. pic.twitter.com/r6RSbrirnV
— ESPN (@espn) September 8, 2018
“Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don’t cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter and I stand for what’s right. You owe me an apology,” Williams told Ramos.
Ramos did not apologize and Williams was still livid at the next changeover, now down 3-4.
She started yelling at Ramos again during the break, demanding an apology. “You stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too,” Williams said.
Being called a thief triggered Ramos, who docked Williams a full game for her third violation. Just like that, Williams was down 3-5 and she went on to lose 6-3, 6-4.
After the match, Williams thought the game penalty was excessive.
“To lose a game for saying that is not fair,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of men out here that have said a lot of things, and because they are men, that doesn’t happen.”
The International Tennis Federation, however, came out in support of Ramos.
“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,” the IFT statement read.
Carlos Ramos “acted at all times with professionalism and integrity”.
The International Tennis Federation has given a statement backing the tennis umpire ? pic.twitter.com/dAYdyo6Ewm
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) September 10, 2018
“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,” the IFT added.
Williams did receive support, however, from the World Tennis Association, whose CEO said there was some merit to Williams’ accusation of a double-standard for women players.
“Yesterday’s U.S. Open final … brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches,” 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 vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done last night.”
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