What Serena Williams whispered to Naomi Osaka on podium

Irene MckinneySep 13, 2018

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos, left, talks with referee Brian Earley as Serena Williams talks with Donna Kelso during the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in NY.

Williams, who was seeking a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title on Saturday, was given three code violations by chair umpire Carlos Ramos in her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Osaka.

"The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA", retired Gold Badge umpire Richard Ings said, according to ESPN's Peter Bodo. One unidentified umpire told the Times that the USTA had not supported umpires, and that Ramos had been "thrown to the wolves for simply doing his job and was not willing to be abused for it".

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

King criticised Serena's lack of sportsmanship, but also said that Ramos was to blame for inflaming the situation. "As an umpire you're supposed to keep the flow of the match going and he did just the opposite".

She added: "He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.' For me, it blows my mind".

(Supplied)Naomi Osaka chats with Ellen DeGeneres about her win at the US Open women's final.

"It's hard to know, and debatable, whether Ms. Williams could have gotten away with calling the umpire a thief if she were a male player", Navratilova wrote.

According to the source, umpires are reportedly discussing the option of refusing match assignments that involve Williams until she apologises to Ramos for calling him a "liar" and "thief".

"I think that is a bigger issue than what actually happened on Saturday night in that US Open final".

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) have backed those claims following Williams' straight sets defeat to Osaka.

The International Tennis Federation did wholeheartedly back Ramos, saying in its statement that "Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis".

We don't have the data to test the accusation that umpires fail to punish some angry outbursts made by a man, but penalise a woman for a similar type of angry rant.

The six-time US Open champion was handed a warning for a coaching violation before being deducted a point for smashing her racquet.

An Australian cartoonist has come under withering criticism for portraying tennis superstar Serena Williams using - what Harry Potter author JK Rowling described as - "racist and sexist tropes".

He is still set to officiate a Davis Cup match this Friday between the U.S. and Croatia.

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