Tennis umpires reportedly mulling boycotting Serena Williams matches after US Open flap

Dean Simpson
September 14, 2018

The 23-time Grand Slam champion had another running battle last Saturday with umpire Carlos Ramos, calling him a "liar" and a "thief" after he issued her a code violation for receiving coaching from Patrick Mouratoglou, which she vehemently denied.

U.S. Open women's champion Naomi Osaka is back in Japan celebrating not only her landmark victory, but also a sponsorship deal with vehicle manufacturer Nissan.

A group of umpires are reportedly considering boycott action against Serena Williams, according to an anonymous source in The Times.

Ramos is back in the umpire's chair this weekend when Croatia host the United States in a Davis Cup tie in Zadar and USA captain Jim Courier said of the Williams incident: "It's been polarized and in some ways politicized". Williams was later given a violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point. That made Williams even more upset, and she berated Ramos repeatedly.

"This is a bulls**t, for umpires being women or men doesn't matter", said the world No. 25.

The move could be smart business from Adidas, pitting the younger Osaka against the 36-year-old Williams, who is one of the most prominent faces of rivals Nike, and who will have no doubt lost some public favor after her shocking outburst during their match.

Then again, Steve Johnson, Mike Bryan and Ryan Harrison are trying their best to stay out of the debate since Carlos Ramos, the chair umpire who penalized Williams, is also handling their best-of-five semifinal series against Croatia this weekend. We just made life hard for umpires everywhere.

Portugese newspaper Tribuna Expresso reported that Ramos had avoided walking the streets of NY on Sunday to avoid any "complicated situations".

Ramos has said that he is "fine, given the circumstances" days after the match, however. "You owe me an apology". "It's a delicate situation, but a la carte arbitration does not exist". Retired umpire Richard Ings confirmed to ESPN that umpires feel that Ramos is being vilified.

But the International Tennis Federation defended Ramos and said in a statement that his "decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules" and that he "acted at all times with professionalism and integrity". "They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos".

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