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US Open (tennis)

US Open umpire did the right thing, Serena Williams just had a temper tantrum

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 September, 2018, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 September, 2018, 4:31pm

I take exception to the comments made by your reader Paul Chiu, regarding the US Open women’s tennis final on September 8 (“Umpire who upset Serena Williams committed a double fault”, September 12).

Mr Chiu put the blame for the debacle on the umpire, Carlos Ramos. Mr Ramos is one of the most experienced umpires on the tour and has many championship matches under his belt. He knows the rules and when he saw blatant, not “imperceptible”, as Mr Chiu writes, hand signals from Ms Williams’ coach, he was within his rights to give her a formal warning.

Many umpires may have let this slide but something about the situation made Mr Ramos do what he did. Ms Williams should have accepted his ruling but, rather than focus on getting back into the match (which she was losing), she let it stew to the point that when she lost the next game she smashed her racquet onto the court – an automatic violation.

Mr Ramos then had no choice but to award her opponent a point for Ms Williams’ unsportsmanlike conduct. After dropping the next game, Ms Williams completely lost her composure and threw a temper tantrum like a four-year-old.

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Calling Mr Ramos a “thief” was the last straw, costing her a game, and soon, the match. For her to say she wouldn’t have been penalised if she were a man misses the point. As tennis great Martina Navratilova points out, no one should act this way on court, particularly a champion. It’s not good for the sport.

Ms Williams brought this on herself. She should reflect on her behaviour and apologise to Naomi Osaka, who wasn’t able to properly savour her victory, and to Mr Ramos, who was only doing his job.

Ted Osborn, Mid-Levels