Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Tennis Umpires Fear 'No One Has Their Back' After Serena Williams Controversy

Tennis Umpires Fear 'No One Has Their Back' After Serena Williams Controversy

Osaka's budding stardom fully bloomed at the U.S. Open, with her Saturday triumph over Serena Williams helping her make the leap from being a favorite among tennis fans to a household name here and overseas.

The rising tennis star's victory was sadly overshadowed by a firestorm of controversy after Williams confronted chair umpire Carlos Ramos and was slapped with three code violations.

"The point is he [Ramos] aggravated the situation, instead of saying "I'm not attacking your character", which is the most important thing he could have said".

"For me, I don't feel sad because I wouldn't even know what I'm expected to feel", she said in Yokohama ahead of the Pan Pacific tournament that begins on Monday.

Nonetheless, Ramos faced a lot of flak from top players, including US Open men's singles champion Novak Djokovic, who insisted that the chair umpire's decisions changed the course of the match.

"At the time I did kinda think they were booing at me".

In the fallout of the incident, the U.S. Tennis Association and Women's Tennis Association both came out in support of Williams.

But after returning to Japan on Thursday, Osaka insisted there were no hard feelings towards Williams, who branded umpire Carlos Ramos a "thief" in an astonishing tantrum triggered by a code violation for coaching that culminated in a docked game.

Tennis great Billie Jean King backed the American but Margaret Court, whose major wins record Williams was trying to equal on Saturday, expressed little sympathy for her.

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The last certainly has not been heard over US Open ladies final outburst as Umpires are considering boycotting Serena Williams' future games.

Ramos, who is from Portugal, spoke briefly to Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso this week.

"It's an unhappy situation but à la carte refereeing doesn't exist", added the 47-year-old seasoned umpire.

Ramos was unable to defend himself over the weekend as the rules prevent umpires from commenting on the matches they oversee.

Needless to say, the lack of support from the Association has umpires in the sport concerned about potential backlash, as Ramos is now being perceived as the villain in the dispute.

One user tweeted, "I love you Amul".

Meanwhile, tennis umpires are also considering forming a union as they feel no one is standing up for them.

He has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the United States and host Croatia later this week.

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