Serena Williams gestures to umpire Carlos Ramos instead of shaking hands after her match against Naomi Osaka in the U.S. Open women's final on Sept. 8, 2018, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.


Report: Tennis Umpires Mulling Boycott Of Serena Williams Matches

September 12, 2018 - 10:57 am


There could be more fallout on the way following Serena Williams' clash with a chair umpire in Saturday's U.S. Open women's final.

According to The Times of London, tennis' top umpires are considering a boycott of future matches involving Williams. Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that the game's top umpires are discussing forming a union because they believe Carlos Ramos, the umpire who penalized Williams for three code violations Saturday, was "hung out to dry" by some of tennis' governing organizations.

In the second set of Williams' match against Naomi Osaka, Ramos warned Williams for receiving coaching, which is against the rules in Grand Slam matches. She briefly disputed that ruling, saying cheating "is the one thing I've never done, ever" -- although afterward, her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, acknowledged he was trying to send Williams a signal.

A few games later, Williams received another warning, this time for smashing her racket, and that second violation automatically cost her a point, leading to more arguing. Eventually, Williams called Ramos "a thief," drawing the third violation for "verbal abuse" - and costing her a game, putting Osaka ahead 5-3.

"I have never cheated in my life!" Williams told Ramos. "You owe me an apology."

After the match, Williams accused Ramos of having a double standard for women and men.

MORE: Liguori: Williams' US Open Meltdown Wasn't About Sexism

"I've seen other men call other umpires several things," she said at a news conference. "I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief,' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief."

Williams was fined $17,000 for the rules violations, and the International Tennis Federation backed Ramos, saying his "decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules." But the U.S. Tennis Association and Women's Tennis Association have come out in support of Williams, which has angered the umpire community.

"The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA," retired umpire Richard Ings told ESPN. "They 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."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.