No matter the sport, umpires don’t want to be the ones being talked about after it’s all over.
But Carlos Ramos, the Portuguese tennis umpire at the centre of the US Open women’s singles final controversy, is receiving a lot of flack over his three penalties imposed on Serena Williams. He docked a point and then a game from the star.
Williams lost the final in straight sets to Japan’s Naomi Osaka.
She was later fined US$17,000 (AU$24,000): US$10,000 for verbal abuse, US$4,000 for a coaching violation, and US$3,000 for racket abuse.
After the match, Williams accused Ramos of sexism.
“I’ve seen other men call other umpires several things and I’m here fighting for women’s rights, women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff – and for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark,” she said.
“He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief’. I’m going to continue to fight for women and to fight for us. The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that want to express themselves, and want to be a strong woman.”
It’s clear there are double standards in tennis – you only have to look at the recent code violation handed to French player Alize Cornet for turning her shirt around to see that.
Here are a few times male tennis players came to blows with umpires without consequence.
Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon, 2018.
Similar to Williams' at the US Open, Novak Djokovic got into an argument with Ramos after receiving a penalty for racket abuse at this year's Wimbledon.
He had a meltdown while battling his Japanese opponent Kei Nishikori in the second set, bouncing his racket on the ground.
But unlike Williams, Djokovic was not further punished when he argued with Ramos about the decision.
"You’re saying in the point if I toss my racket like this I’m ruining the court?" Djokovic argued. "You think I ruined the court by tossing the racket two metres behind the baseline? Be honest! Come on!"