A former professional umpire has opened up about why officials are so furious after Serena Williams’ US Open blow-up.
As the fallout continues from Sunday’s controversial US Open final, tennis umpires are having their say.
They’re not pleased with Williams or what they see as a lack of support from the tennis world for chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who was on the receiving end of a heated outburst from the 23-time Grand Slam champion.
The Serena controversy has stirred resentment among umpires ― and they are now reportedly considering a boycott of her future matches.
Retired umpire Richard Ings has opened up to ESPN about why his former colleagues are now ‘fearful’ after the controversy erupted.
“The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned” by officials with the Women’s Tennis Association who questioned Ramos’ rulings in such a high-profile contest, Ings said.
“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.”
But will a bocyott actually eventuate?
Ings said such a protest was “unlikely” because umpires have no fraternal organisation or union.
“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 US Tennis Association told HuffPost on Wednesday.
Ramos breaks silence on controversial match
The chair umpire at the centre of the saga has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is “fine.”
Ramos, who is from Portugal, spoke briefly to Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso this week.
“I’m fine, given the circumstances,” Ramos said, according to the newspaper.
“It’s a delicate situation, but umpiring ‘a la carte’ doesn’t exist. Don’t worry about me.”
The newspaper said Ramos received hundreds of messages of support from family, colleagues, players and former players.
He said he has avoided social media and only reads “balanced” articles about the incident. He also refrained from going out the day after the final to avoid problems, according to the report.
The International Tennis Federation has defended Ramos for his actions during the final. The US Open fined Williams for her three code violations.
The WTA later called for equal treatment of all tennis players and coaching to be allowed across the sport.
Ramos has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semi-final matches between the United States and Croatia, a best-of-five series which begins Friday and ends Sunday in Zadar, Croatia.