The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said chair umpire Carlos Ramos acted “in accordance with the relevant rules” during the US Open final between Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams.
Osaka won the final 6-2 6-4, but the main talking point centered around Williams’ repeated clashes with Ramos, who issued Williams with three code violations during the second set.
The third of those, for verbal abuse, saw Williams docked a game penalty.
“Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis,” the ITF statement said.
“Mr. Ramos’ decisions … were re-affirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Serena Williams for the three offences.
“It is understandable that this high profile and regrettable incident should provoke debate. At the same time, it is important to remember that Mr. Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”
The statement stands in contrast to comments from WTA CEO Steve Simon and USTA president Katrina Adams.
“The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same,” Simon said in a statement.
“We do not believe that this was done last night.”
In an interview with ESPN, Adams said: “We watch the guys do this all the time, they’re badgering the umpire on the changeovers. Nothing happens. There’s no equality. I think there has to be some consistency across the board.
“I know what Serena did and her behaviour was not welcome. A line could have been drawn, but when you look at Carlos in this situation, it’s a judgment call to give that last penalty because she called him a thief. They’ve been called a lot more.”
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