Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Umpires 'could boycott Serena Williams matches' after US Open outburst

Umpires 'could boycott Serena Williams matches' after US Open outburst

Williams' behaviour divided the tennis world after she called the chair umpire a "liar" and a "thief" and said he treated her differently than male players during her loss to Naomi Osaka of Japan.

That question, coming on the heels of questions over scheduling of women's matches at the Australian Open and widely criticized remarks by French Tennis Federation President Bernard Giudicelli suggesting the "Black Panther" catsuit Williams wore at the French Open was somehow "disrespectful", has intensified debate on gender bias in the game. "Especially in a Grand Slam final".

The US Open fined Williams $17,000 for her protestations, although she collected $1.85 million for finishing runner-up at Flushing Meadows.

"I have never seen a women's final as intense and as widely discussed as this one".

Ramos followed the rule book to a tee. "I think it's a matter of having a conversation with the two guys and saying let's cut it out, let's slow it down, and then perhaps not understanding how they can have the same conversation with the females".

It is bad enough that a star of Williams stature exploded in such a politically charged rant at the judge, but what hurt the judges even more is that both the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) came to Williams' support on her charges against the judge.

Here's Williams after Saturday's match. I couldn't tell what was going on, because it was just so loud in there.

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"At the end of the day, I hope everybody understands and celebrates Naomi because she's the U.S. Open champion and that's pretty dope".

Chair umpires took centre stage at Flushing Meadows this year, more than at any other tournament in recent memory, and culminated with Serena Williams being reduced to tears at her treatment in the women's final. It was at this point that Ramos called a code violation for verbal abuse.

Osaka, who was noticeably teary during the ceremony and at one point pulled her visor down over her eyes, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday and cleared up exactly what her idol said to her.

"Thank you, Serena Williams, for calling out this double standard".

Ramos himself did offer some comments to a newspaper in his native Portugal, saying (per USA Today), "I'm fine, given the circumstances", and "It's a delicate situation, but "a la carte" arbitration does not exist".

Widmaier said the feeling at USTA is that there needs to be a push to ensure consistency in the application of the rules, including coaching violations and shirt changes by women players. "I drew this cartoon Sunday night after seeing the US Open final, and seeing the world's best tennis player have a tantrum and thought that was interesting", he said. The beginning of the tournament saw organisers struggle to contend with a heat-wave in NY that resulted in the implementation of a heat policy - the first time ever it was applied in men's matches.

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