Billie Jean King: Serena was 'out of line,' but umpire 'blew it'

Angelo Anderson
September 12, 2018

His appearance could prove awkward after several figures from the US Tennis Association, including president Katrina Adams, publicly supported Williams in her sexism allegations.

"The September 10 cartoon not only exudes racist, sexist caricatures of both women, but Williams' depiction is unnecessarily sambo-like", a statement said.

Martina Navratilova, who has won 18 Grand Slam singles matches, criticized Williams' behavior in an op-ed for The New York Times. According to another report in The Guardian, umpires are also considering forming a union after Ramos was "hung out to dry" by the authorities despite upholding the rules. "There is a widespread feeling that Carlos was hung out to dry for almost 48 hours and that no one is standing up for officials".

That has led to talk of a boycott, with The Guardian reporting that umpires feel Ramos was "hung out to dry" while "no one is standing up for officials", lending renewed energy to long-standing discussions about unionizing.

As Deadspin reported this week, the U.S. Tennis Association and the Women's Tennis Association have released statements backing Williams and calling out a "difference in the standards of tolerance" by officials - even with another governing body, the International Tennis Federation, defending Ramos for acting with "professionalism and integrity".

The governing body's support for Ramos came after the WTA, which operates the women's tour, was critical of the way things went between him and Williams in NY.

Tennis great Billie Jean King backed the American but Margaret Court, whose major wins record Williams was trying to equal on Saturday, expressed little sympathy for the 36-year-old.


During Saturday's final match, Williams was given three code violations by umpire Carlos Ramos, who first accused the tennis player of getting coached, then cited her for smashing her racket, and finally admonished her for verbal abuse after Williams called Ramos a thief for docking her points. An umpire's job is to keep control of the match, and he let it get out of control.

She was docked a game and fined £13,000 ($17,000), eventually losing to Japan's Osaka - by 2-6, 4-6.

The match was clouded with controversy after umpire Carlos Ramos penalized Williams a point, and then a game, for three violations.

An on-court interviewer had to order the crowd to stop booing until Williams regained her composure. She said the umpire still treated her differently because she was a black woman.

"Don't bring gender into it when it's all about behaviour", he tweeted in response to sports writer Julie DiCaro.

Ranked in the Top-100 of WTA Doubles, she spoke about emotions coming into play.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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