US Open: Greats slam umpire Ramos; call for change in rules

Sep 10, 2018, 09:55 IST | PA Sport

There has been debate over Serena Williams' charge that she had been a victim of sexism from the chair umpire

US Open: Greats slam umpire Ramos; call for change in rules
Billie Jean King

Greats of the game, current and former players and officials criticised umpire Carlos Ramos's decision-making during an extraordinary US Open final that saw Serena Williams lose to Naomi Osaka after an angry confrontation with the match official, which saw the American docked a point and then a game over a row sparked by a warning for coaching. There has been debate over Serena's charge that she had been a victim of sexism from the chair umpire.

Double standards
Former World No. 1 Billie Jean King said that Williams had called out a "double standard". She tweeted: "Several things went very wrong during the US Open finals. Coaching on every point should be allowed in tennis. It isn't, and as a result, a player was penalised for the actions of her coach. This should not happen. When a woman is emotional, she's "hysterical" and she's penalised for it. When a man does the same, he's outspoken and there are no repercussions."

Former French Open champion Sue Barker told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "As far as the rant goes, I think the umpire was following the rules by the book, and so that is harsh. But Serena in some ways has a point in the fact that I've sat courtside watching the men ranting at umpires and [they] haven't been given a violation. Both have a point.

"Serena is saying the male players can say what they like to an umpire. Also, earlier in the tournament we saw Alize Cornet being given a code violation for changing her shirt on-court. Then, in the same tournament, Mohamed Lahyani gets off the umpires' chair to talk to Nick Kyrgios and persuade him not to give up on a match.

"So I think they have to look at the rules of what is allowed and what isn't, because I just think he was following the rules absolutely by the book, but sometimes the book has to be re-written – you can't have one rule for some players, and some umpires don't adhere to it and allow players to get away with things. I think they just have to be fair to the players. Tennis was the loser."

'Worst refereeing'
Former US Open champion Andy Roddick tweeted: "It was the worst refereeing I've ever seen......the worst !!!" Former US Open quarter finalist Mardy Fish came out in defence of Williams, tweeting: "She wasn't even looking. Believe what you want" Two-time finalist and former world number one Victoria Azarenka tweeted: "If it was men's match, this wouldn't happen like this. It just wouldn't."

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