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Serena Williams gains support of WTA, USTA chiefs after umpire row

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The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has backed up Serena Williams’ claims of sexism regarding the way she was treated by umpire Carlos Ramos during Saturday’s US Open final.
Williams was given a warning for coaching, then docked a point for smashing a racket before being penalised a game by Ramos after she called him a “liar” and a “thief”. That left the 23-times grand slam singles champion one game from defeat and in tears, with Naomi Osaka clinching her first slam title shortly afterwards.
Williams argued on court with tournament officials, claiming she was being treated differently to how a man would be in such circumstances – a theme she continued in her press conference. The American has since received support from various current and former players, and on Sunday night, moments after Novak Djokovic won the men’s title, the WTA chief executive, Steve Simon, released a statement.
Simon said: “Saturday brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches. The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men v women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done.”
Simon also called for coaching to be allowed during grand slam matches. Ramos penalised Williams after seeing her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, making a hand gesture. The Frenchman later admitted he was trying to coach his player. “We also think the issue of coaching needs to be addressed and should be allowed across the sport,” said Simon. “The WTA supports coaching through its on-court coaching rule, but further review is needed.”

Japan’s Naomi Osaka Defeats Serena Williams To Win US Open Title

Following the match, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which runs the US Open, released a statement from its president, Katrina Adams, hailing Williams for her “class” and “sportsmanship”.
Appearing on ESPN, Adams also claimed there are double standards in terms of how umpires treat women and men. Adams said: “We watch the guys do this all the time, they’re badgering the umpire on the changeovers. Nothing happens. There’s no equality. I think there has to be some consistency across the board. These are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks.
“I know what Serena did and her behaviour was not welcome. A line could have been drawn, but when you look at Carlos in this situation, it’s a judgment call to give that last penalty because she called him a thief. They’ve been called a lot more.
“[He could have said]: ‘Hey, we’re getting out of hand here, let’s tone it down.’ I think he would have [said that to a male player], I think it’s a bond that they have and they way they communicate, and maybe not understanding they can have that same conversation with the women.”
Speaking after his win, Djokovic expressed sympathy for Williams but disagreed that women are treated differently from men. “I love Serena, first of all. I really felt for her yesterday,” he said. “It was a tough thing for a chair umpire to deal with, as well. Everyone was in a very awkward situation.
“I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a grand slam final. He did change the course of the match. We all go through our emotions, especially when you’re fighting for a grand slam trophy. But I don’t see things as Mr Simon does. I really don’t. I think men and women are treated in this way or the other way depending on the situation. It’s hard to generalise things. I don’t see it’s necessary really to debate that.”

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