Tennis’ governing bodies are at loggerheads over the Serena Williams situation that descended the US Open final into chaos.
Through a series of statements which vastly contradict each other, it has become apparent the authorities have clashed.
Williams was slapped with a $A23,920 fine for her three code violations dished out by chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
Instead of showcasing a united front on the controversial issue, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), the US Tennis Association (USTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) have taken contrasting stances.
The WTA and USTA were the first to release statements regarding the incident, firmly in the corner of Williams – but the ITF has since sided with chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
The ITF has given its backing to Portuguese chair umpire Carlos Ramos who Serena Williams branded a “liar” and a “thief” during her US Open final defeat by Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
“Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis,” the statement read.
“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.”
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He received praise from the ITF for his professionalism in one of the most controversial Grand Slam finals of all time.
The ITF’s support for Ramos comes after the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) expressed disappointment over the handling of the match and the USTA’s plans to review its communication policies after a string of umpiring controversies.
Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) chief executive Steve Simon said the affair brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches.
“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,” he said.
“We do not believe that this was done last night.”
The USTA echoed the WTA’s sentiments after president Katrina Adams released a statement praising Serena Williams for her sportsmanship.
“We watch the guys do this all the time, they’re badgering the umpire on the changeovers. Nothing happens. There’s no equality,” Adams said on ESPN.
“I think there has to be some consistency across the board. These are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks.”