Revolt: Umps Don't Want To Work with Hair-Trigger Serena


She lost the U.S. Open Tennis Championship, but that is not all she lost. Tennis professional Serena Williams lost her hair-trigger temper and that has raised all manner of dispute, leading to umpires considering not dealing with her ever again.

The crux of the matter revolves around umpire Carlos Ramos, who made some unpopular calls against Williams. According to the New York Post, “Ramos called three violations on Williams: once for coaching, once for racket abuse and once for verbal abuse after she called him a ‘thief’ and a ‘liar’ during the second set of her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka.”

But it wasn’t just the unpopular calls Williams faced. She was also slapped with $17,000 in fines for all of the violations.

Across the board, feelings were mixed on who was in the right and who was in the wrong. Some did note that winner Naomi Osaka was a victim, as well, having her big moment stolen from her due to the uproar.

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At one point in the match, Williams told Ramos he owed her an apology. She was visibly upset about the call.

However, her coach was captured on video signaling to her. Ramos had made a correct call.

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According to Larry Brown Sports, Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted to ESPN that he did signal her during the match. “I’m honest, I was coaching. I don’t think (Serena) looked at me, so that’s why she didn’t think I was (coaching).”

He added, “But I was, like 100 percent of the coaches on 100 percent of the matches. So we have to stop this hypocrite thing. (Osaka’s coach) was coaching every point too.”

Despite this, some have called out Ramos. The New York Post wrote that both the Women’s Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association have sided with Williams against him.

Ramos has been called a “sexist” for his violation calls against Williams. Even tennis legend Billie Jean King took shots at him over it:

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Now, according to The U.K. Times, “Umpires are considering refusing to officiate matches involving Serena Williams, such is the level of discontent over the treatment of Carlos Ramos during and after the US Open final.”

They were already upset about the “haphazard organisation of this year’s US Open.” But what they saw happen to Ramos could have pushed them over the edge.

The Times wrote that “An anonymous official told The Times that there was a growing consensus that umpires were ‘not supported’ by the USTA on several occasions, and that Ramos was ‘thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job.'” ESPN added to the official’s statement with one from a retired elite Gold Badge umpire.

Richard Ings said, “The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA. 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.”

ESPN also noted that The Times “cited an anonymous source who said officials were considering a boycott of future matches involving Williams.” What will actually happen will have to be seen in coming matches, but it raises questions as to what would be done if no umpires will deal with Williams.

Rules could be changed to eliminate some of the more highly disputed rules, reducing the risk of a Williams meltdown. Umpires could be required to handle her matches or not work any matches at all.

As for Ramos, he is considered to be highly regarded. It has also been pointed out that he has made similar calls against male tennis players:

ESPN wrote that he told Portugal’s Tribuna Expresso, “I’m fine, given the circumstances. It’s a delicate situation, but ‘a la carte’ arbitration does not exist. Do not worry about me!”

ESPN also noted that there are no unions for umpires that could launch a widespread boycott. A USTA spokesperson told them they had not heard any rumors of an umpire boycott at this point in time.

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