Um­pire Ramos ‘good’ de­spite fire

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - Sport 6 -

LIS­BON – Um­pire Car­los Ramos has made his first pub­lic state­ment since the US Open, say­ing he was “good” de­spite the firestorm of con­tro­versy that fol­lowed his of­fi­ci­at­ing of last week­end’s women’s fi­nal be­tween Serena Wil­liams and Naomi Osaka.

The 47-year-old Por­tuguese handed out three code vi­o­la­tions to run­ner-up Wil­liams on Satur­day, prompt­ing a heated on-court ar­gu­ment with the 23-time Grand Slam cham­pion and spark­ing a de­bate about sex­ism in ten­nis.

“I am good, un­der the cir­cum­stances,” Ramos was quoted as say­ing in Por­tu­gal’s Tri­buna Ex­presso.

“It’s an un­happy sit­u­a­tion but a la carte ref­er­ee­ing doesn’t ex­ist. “Don’t you worry about me!” Ramos, who told the news­pa­per that he had avoided walk­ing the streets of New York on Sun­day to avoid any “com­pli­cated sit­u­a­tions”, con­firmed he would be back in the chair on Fri­day in Zadar, Croa­tia.

The In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (ITF), which on Mon­day is­sued a state­ment de­scrib­ing Ramos as one of the most re­spected um­pires in ten­nis, has ap­pointed him to of­fi­ci­ate the semi-fi­nal of the Davis Cup, the in­ter­na­tional men’s team event, be­tween Croa­tia and the United States.

Sex­ism

The United States Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion (USTA) and Women’s Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion (WTA) both pub­licly backed the al­le­ga­tions of sex­ism lev­elled at Ramos af­ter Satur­day’s match.

Wil­liams was fined US$17 000 and docked a point and a game for three code vi­o­la­tions dur­ing the match, in­clud­ing break­ing a racket and ver­bally abus­ing the um­pire.

Bil­lie Jean King, the for­mer world num­ber one who founded the WTA in the 1970s, said on Tues­day all sides shared blame for the in­ci­dent, say­ing Wil­liams was “out of line” but that Ramos could have pre­vented the con­tro­versy with more le­niency and clearer com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Ramos was un­able to de­fend him­self in pub­lic in New York as the row es­ca­lated over the week­end as ITF rules pre­vent um­pires from com­ment­ing on their matches.

The in­ci­dent sparked an­other so­cial me­dia storm on Mon­day when a car­toon was pub­lished in an Aus­tralian news­pa­per de­pict­ing Wil­liams with ex­ag­ger­ated fea­tures, which civil rights ac­tivist Rev. Jesse Jack­son among oth­ers de­scribed as “racist”.

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