Comment: Umpire Carlos Ramos was right to ‘go for the jugular’ in US Open final
It wasn’t pretty, it won’t have won him any fans, in fact he is likely to receive a torrent of abuse, but chair umpire Carlos Ramos was left with little choice but to ‘go for the jugular’ during the controversial US Open final.
Quite a few former players and pundits believe Ramos should have tried to manage the situation and instead just given Serena Williams a warning about crossing the line during the match against Naomi Osaka.
“Because of the big occasion – finals, the score, a game penalty – he should have warned her,” Chris Evert told BBC Radio 5 live.
“Scold her. ‘Ms Williams you need to be quiet because if you keep going on like this it will be a game.’
“Because of the enormity of the moment he should have given her a little bit of a break – but instead he just went right for the jugular.”
But the damage had already been done, Williams had already crossed the line and as there were three clear strikes against the American.
By the letter of the law, he was right to penalise Serena Williams on all three occasions, US Open final or no US Open final.
The drama unfolded when the 23-time Grand Slam winner was given a code violation early in the second set for coaching by Patrick Mouratoglou.
If the umpire decides that there was coaching, then it is a black and white decision.
“Players shall not receive coaching during a match (including the warm-up). Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching.”
That is what the official wording about coaching during Grand Slams.
And while Williams insisted she wasn’t coached, Mouratoglou put an end to the matter.
“I was coaching but I don’t think she looked at me,” Mouratoglou said. “Sash [Osaka’s coach Sascha Bajin] was coaching as well. Everybody does it.”
Patrick Mouratoglu admits to coaching Serena Williams in US Open final defeat.https://t.co/fS0BWmCVDD
— Tennis365 (@T365Official) September 8, 2018
The fact that “everybody does it” doesn’t make it right.
A few games later and Williams took her frustration out on her racket and again Ramos was justified in giving her a second violation and a point penalty.
“Abuse of rackets or equipment is defined as intentionally, dangerously and violently destroying or damaging racquets.”
Instead of using her experience and keep control, Williams allowed her emotions to get the better of her.
With Osaka leading 4-3, she lost it as she accused the umpire of “lying”.
“You are a liar. You will never be on a court of mine as long as you live. When are you going to give me my apology? Say you are sorry,” she shouted at the official.
VIDEO: Serena Williams rages at chair umpire over coaching accusations.https://t.co/CwvFXKmROo
— Tennis365 (@T365Official) September 8, 2018
And again, umpire Ramos didn’t have much of an option as she was docked the next game.
“Verbal abuse is defined as a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory insulting or otherwise.”
Otherwise, where do you draw the line when it comes to abuse of officials?
You just can’t have players going off like that, we see it happen a lot in football and it’s not a pretty sight.
Earlier in the tournament chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani was criticised after his on-court pep talk to Nick Kyrgios.
Lahyani went “beyond protocol” after he stepped down from his chair to speak to the Australian about his performance.
Ramos would not have quite gone “beyond protocol”, but you can’t have your bread buttered on both sides and want one umpires to “stick to the letter of the law”, but on the other side you want them to manage situations.
Unfortunately, it is all down to Williams as she allowed the situation to get out of control. Many a player has been given code violations, but simply got their heads down and got on with it.
Pablo Carreno Busta claims his first ATP Tour title on home soil
Pablo Carreno Busta claimed his first ATP Tour title on home soil after edging compatriot Jaume Munar.
Exclusive – Coaching legend Nick Bollettieri on the new tool that could transform the game
In the opinion of tennis coaching legend Nick Bollettieri, Slinger Bag has a huge role to play in what comes next at all levels of the game.
World No.1 Ashleigh Barty is beaten in straight sets in shock defeat
Unseeded Spaniard Paula Badosa upset world number one Ashleigh Barty in straight sets to progress to the semi-finals.
Exclusive – Coaching legend Nick Bollettieri on the looming crisis in tennis
Legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri believes tennis needs to rebrand the sport quickly to avoid a huge drop off in interest.
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal kept apart in draw for Monte Carlo Masters
Novak Djokovic has avoided a possible meeting with Rafael Nadal until the final of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Daniil Medvedev needs strong clay-court season after previous struggles on the red dirt
Daniil Medvedev eyes fix for his clay woes, writes Oli Jefford.
‘I am really happy proud of myself,’ says Lorenzo Musetti after saving four match points against Dan Evans
Musetti fights back to see off Evans in Sardegna.
Ashleigh Barty and Coco Gauff roll on in Charleston, Garbine Muguruza bows out through injury
Wins for Barty and Gauff, but Muguruza out.
Novak Djokovic’s father takes fresh swipe at Roger Federer, saying Swiss great is ‘not a good man’
Srdjan Djokovic has another go at Roger Federer.
French player hits out at French Open postponement, saying ‘it’s a pretty selfish decision’
Alize Cornet unimpressed by French Open delay.