August 24, 2019

With U.S. Open Clash Still Fresh, Carlos Ramos Set to Officiate Davis Cup

With U.S. Open Clash Still Fresh, Carlos Ramos Set to Officiate Davis Cup

Adams, in comments to ESPN the day after the match, also complained about a double standard, although she was more measured in an interview with CBS on Tuesday.

“At the end of the day Serena could have handled it a little bit differently,” Adams said. “She’s passionate, and she was speaking out. And I think for Ramos, he was a little bit defensive at that point and was fed up, as opposed to saying, ‘O.K., let’s get back to business.’”

Such criticism of a chair umpire from governing bodies is highly unusual.

“What made me sad was those two governing bodies putting into question the official’s job, and they didn’t support Carlos or officiating in general,” said Enric Molina, a former chair umpire and head of officiating at the I.T.F. who is now an agent. “I think their responsibility at the end of the day is to stand for what’s right for the sport, and officiating carries a number of good values of our sport: fairness, equality, sportsmanship, respect, and so on.

“That was a really good opportunity that they had to highlight those values and send the right message to the fans. I work with the players and admire Serena for being such a great champion and role model in many ways, but this time she didn’t get it right. And there’s no problem with that; it makes her more human.”

Williams was later fined a total of $17,000 by the tournament for the three offenses, and the I.T.F. issued a statement that expressed support for all three of Ramos’s rulings and defended his “professionalism and integrity.” But that statement was not released until Monday, nearly 48 hours after the match had ended, because officials were working through the wording.

The delay did not sit well with many umpires, and the Times of London reported that they were considering, among several options, refusing to officiate at Williams’s matches until she apologized to Ramos. There has also been renewed discussion about the possibility of an umpires’ union and an umpires’ spokesperson at major tournaments when disputes or confusion arise — “like there is in other sports, to explain the rules and decisions,” Molina said.

Molina and other former umpires said on Wednesday, however, that a boycott of Williams’s matches was highly unlikely.

“I would put my hand on fire that it doesn’t come from the professional umpires,” said Félix Torralba, a former gold-badge chair umpire for the WTA Tour from Spain. “It might be a comment in a room of people related to officiating, but not from people that work the tour, that are international officials. I would doubt that. I’ve spoken to colleagues. I don’t believe that.”

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