» Liar « , » thief « . Portugal’s official Carlos Ramos, chair umpire of the women’s US Open 2018 final on Saturday in New York, has heard it all from the former world champion. It all started with her receiving a warning for « coaching » , at the start of the second set of this historic match between Serena Williams, 36, and the young Naomi Osaka (20 years old).
A rant by Williams followed accusing the umpire of sexism and treating her more harshly than men after she was cited by official Ramos for three code violations during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to rising star Osaka: for getting coaching signals; for breaking her racket, which cost her a point; and for calling the chair umpire a thief, which cost her a whole game.
The court then became a scene of a settlement between the referee and the player, under the dumbfounded eyes of the public and Naomi Osaka.
In a post-game press conference, Serena Williams recalled the incident, accusing the referee of « sexism ». « I am fighting for women’s rights, » she said, saying that Carlos Ramos would not have punished a man in the same way.