Fed-up umpires are reportedly considering boycotting Serena Williams after her controversial blow-up in the US Open final.
According to The Times, a number of veteran umpires are furious with the way Carlos Ramos was treated during and after the US Open final.
“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,” The Times is reporting.
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The report quotes an anonymous official that some umpires believe they were “not supported” by the United States Tennis Association, which “backed Williams’s claims of sexism”.
The source also believed Ramos was “thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it.”
Umpires are said to be considering the boycott unless Serena apologises.
The USTA and WTA both sided with Serena, and the International Tennis Federation took two days before they came out and backed Ramos, adding to the discontent.
In another report by The Guardian, umpires are now thinking about forming a union.
“Many officials were also left angry with the fact that the International Tennis Federation took nearly 48 hours to defend Ramos, on Monday afternoon, by which time the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) had supported Williams’s claims of sexism,” The Guardian reports.
A senior figure reportedly told The Guardian: “There is a lot of unhappiness in the umpiring community because no one is standing up for officials. Umpires keep asking: ‘What if it was me in that chair on Saturday?’ There is a widespread feeling that Carlos was hung out to dry for nearly 48 hours and that no one is standing up for officials.”
Williams, who was seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title, was given a warning for a coaching violation before incurring a point penalty for smashing her racket on Saturday.
After accusing Ramos of being “a thief for stealing a point from me”, she was docked a game.
The six-times US Open champion, who eventually lost the match 6-2 6-4 was fined $24,000 by the USTA for her outburst.
“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 reaffirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offences,” the ITF said in a statement on Monday.
Ramos, 47, is the only active tennis umpire to have officiated the men’s singles finals at all four grand slams.
He has also been on the chair for the women’s singles finals at three of the four majors – the French Open in 2005, Wimbledon in 2008 and at Flushing Meadows on Saturday.
He received praise from the ITF for his professionalism in one of the most controversial Grand Slam finals of all time.
“It is understandable that this high profile and regrettable incident should provoke debate,” the ITF added.
“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.”