Revealed: The stats that confirm Serena Williams was wrong to cry sexism at US Open

Serena Williams argues with match referee

Serena Williams caused a huge stir when she claimed female tennis players are punished more often than their male counterparts during his thumping US Open final defeat against Naomi Osaka, yet the statistics confirm she was wrong to make that inflammatory accusation.

The furore caused by Williams’ belief that umpire Carlos Ramos was sexist as he handed her three code violations for clearly breaking the rules of the sport seemed hard to justify at the time and now a New York Times report has exposed her claims in graphic detail.

A chart listing all fines handed out in organisers of the four Grand Slam tennis events over the last decade confirms that male players have been handed financial penalties for their actions on 1,517 occasions, with female players punished just 535 times.
It provides conclusive proof that Williams was wrong to label umpire Ramos ‘a thief’ during her on court rant, which resulted in a $1700 fine.

Now there are suggestions that leading umpires may boycott Williams’ matches unless she apologies to Ramos, with her silence in the last week suggesting she stands by her accusation that she was a victim of sexism in the ladies singles final.

Senior umpire Bob Christianson has raised the prospect of umpires refusing to officiate in Williams’ matches, as belated support for Ramos has finally arrived.

“That’s the worst brouhaha I’ve witnessed in my 40-plus years of tennis officiating,” said Christianson. “What we’re looking for, we’re looking for an apology from Serena to the official or officials in general. And if we don’t get that, there might be a potential boycott of her next match.

“We’ve never had to go to this extent, but officials are scared. They’re worried what happened to Carlos could happen to them. You do your job and you’re condemned for it.

“We as officials have no spokesman or advocate for us and we’re not supposed to talk to the press without permission. So we have no way to get our point across. We’re completely muzzled.

“Sexism? I think that’s appalling. You reach a point in life, you have to make a stand. There’s no sexism here. She’s had blow-ups like this before, usually when she’s losing.

“And Carlos is one of the best in the world. He’s been tried and tested. He’s done 10 or 12 Grand Slam finals. He’s a gold-badge official.”

More from Tennis365: