The US Open’s women’s finals on Saturday took a political turn when second place finisher Serena Williams went apoplectic over controversial calls against her by umpire Carlos Ramos, whom she absurdly smeared as a sexist.
While Williams was immediately backed by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and hailed as a hero by countless feminists and the establishment media, Ramos kept quiet, as International Tennis Federation (ITF) rules bar umpires from commenting on their matches.
But Ramos has finally broken his silence regarding the backlash, speaking to Portugal’s Tribuna Expresso. “I am good, under the circumstances,” he told the paper.
“It’s an unhappy situation but à la carte refereeing doesn’t exist,” added the 47-year-old seasoned umpire. “Don’t you worry about me!”
Ramos told the paper that he avoided hitting the streets of New York after the controversial match to sidestep any potential “complicated situations.”
Other umpires are reportedly not so cool with the outrageous smearing of Ramos. According to a report from The London Times, an anonymous official said there’s “a growing consensus that umpires were ‘not supported’ by the USTA on several occasions, and that Ramos was ‘thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it.'” They are reportedly considering a boycott of Williams’ matches “until she apologises for vilifying Ramos and calling him a ‘liar’ and a ‘thief,'” says the report.
Moreover, a source identified as a tennis “senior figure” told The Guardian, “There is a lot of unhappiness in the umpiring community because no one is standing up for officials. Umpires keep asking: ‘What if it was me in that chair on Saturday?’ There is a widespread feeling that Carlos was hung out to dry for nearly 48 hours and that no one is standing up for officials.”
On Monday, the ITF finally backed Ramos via a statement. “Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis,” it said. “Mr Ramos’s decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were reaffirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Ms 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 rulebook and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”
Ramos will return to the chair on Friday, officiating the men’s semi-final of the Davis Cup, he confirmed.