The International Tennis Federation has come out in support of chair umpire Carlos Ramos in the wake of Serena Williams’ US Open final defeat.
Having initially said it would not comment, the world governing body has backed Ramos against allegations of sexism and other improprieties.
Williams was docked a game in the crucial second set of her match against Naomi Osaka after receiving a third code violation for calling the experienced Ramos a “thief” – and she used her subsequent post-match press conference to call her penalty “sexist”.
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Her stance was swiftly backed by the WTA Tour’s chief executive Steve Simon, and US great Billie-Jean King, both of whom also questioned the initial code violation handed to Williams for on-court coaching.
The ITF had previously said nothing on the incident other than to state it does not control the Grand Slams, until Monday when it released a statement supporting Ramos.
The statement read: “Carlos Ramos is one of the most experienced and respected umpires in tennis. Mr Ramos’ decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were reaffirmed by the decision US Open to fine Serena Williams for the three offences.
“It is understandable that this high profile and regrettable incident should provoke debate.
At the same time, it is important to remember that Mr Ramos undertook his duties as an official according to the relevant rule book and acted at all times with professionalism and integrity.”