The women’s final was the latest and loudest example of umpiring controversies at the 2018 US Open and have prompted the USTA to review its code of conduct for future running’s of the event.
“Some of these incidents, you know, have prompted us to reflect on the clarity of our own communication to the chair umps,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said Sunday. “These incidents will prompt us to analyse ways of perhaps instituting some change. We certainly do not want inconsistencies.”
The fine handed to Serena Williams of $17,000 was relatively insignificant compared to the $1.85 million she received for finishing as runner-up at the US Open. But, the ramifications of what caused it continue to divide the world of tennis.
During Saturday’s controversial final, in which Naomi Osaka provided Japan with its first tennis Grand Slam singles champion, Williams was cited three times for code violations in which she called the chair umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar” and a “thief.” She also alleged he treated her differently than male players.
Williams, who is still seeking a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title, was handed a warning for a coaching violation, before being deducted a point for smashing her racket. She then had a heated argument with Ramos, resulting in her being docked a game during the second set.
As the first violation was announced, Williams approached the umpire’s chair to say she never takes coaching when on a competitive court and would rather lose than “cheat to win.”
“I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff and for me to say thief and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark,” said Williams after the final. “He’s never took a game from a man ’cause they said thief, for me it blows my mind!”
Tennis great Billie Jean King, who won 12 Grand Slam titles of her own, said on social media: “When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ and there are no repercussions.” Read more