Professional tennis umpires are considering forming a union and boycotting Serena Williams matches after Carlos Ramos — the US Open umpire involved in the high profile altercation with Serena Williams — was “thrown to the wolves”.
On Sunday, September 9, during the women’s final at the US Open in New York City, Ramos called three violations against Williams during her loss to 20-year-old Naomi Osaka: one for receiving coaching on the court, one for racket abuse, and game penalty for verbal abuse after Williams called Ramos a “thief” and a “liar”.
According to The Times of London, there is a “growing consensus” among umpires that they are “not supported” by the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Richard Ings, a retired elite Gold Badge umpire (the same level of umpire as Ramos) told ESPN that tennis umpires are “all fearful that they could be the next Ramos, they feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls.”
“I’m fine, given the circumstances,” Ramos told Portugal’s Tribuna Expresso on Tuesday. “It’s a delicate situation, but ‘a la carte’ arbitration does not exist. Do not worry about me!”
Ramos is “sure of his performance” in Saturday’s final but did not elaborate more, according to Tribuna Expresso. He has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the United States and host Croatia later this week.
The Times of London reported Tuesday “there was 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.'”
The report also cited an anonymous source who said officials were considering a boycott of future matches involving Williams.
However, Ings additionally told ESPN that any organized action by umpires is “unlikely” and that they are “upset” and thinking “what if?”.
Who Is Carlos Ramos?
Carlos Ramos is a Portuguese professional tennis umpire who is a “Gold-Badged” judge under the International Tennis Federation’s rankings. Ramos, born in 1971, was the first umpire to sit a match in all four of the Grand slam tennis tournaments.
While Ramos has a history of altercations with high-profile tennis stars, his confrontation with Serena Williams at the 2018 US Open was his most famous yet.