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Posted by portugalpress on September 10, 2018

Tennis fans got much more than they bargained for in last Saturday’s women’s final of the US Open.

Gold-badge Portuguese umpire Carlos Ramos came under blistering attack from ‘living legend’ Serena Williams - and although he may have ‘won’ technically, his reputation now is under media scrutiny.

Says the Guardian, Serena “is far from the first player to have found fault with him”.

Fellow greats, including Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray have all had run ins with Carlos Ramos.

But Serena’s beef was possibly the most ‘high profile’.

As she battled (and ultimately lost) against the much younger Naomi Osaka, Ramos pulled her up on three points.

He claimed first that she had ‘received coaching’ from the sidelines, he then penalised her for ‘abuse of a racket’ and he finally took a point off her for what he called the “verbal abuse” that Serena heaped upon him.

As US Today remarked: “Most sports fans don't know the names of umpires or referees, who eschew the spotlight in efforts to call a fair game. Everyone will remember Carlos Ramos.

“Ramos, a Portuguese tennis umpire with several decades of experience, was accused Saturday of sexism by perhaps the greatest women's tennis player of all time”.

Williams also accused him of being a thief for, in her eyes, “stealing a point” off her.

The bottom line is that many agree. Even former US Open champ Bille Jean King tweeted out of her retirement: “When a woman is emotional, she’s hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ and there are no repercussions. Thank you, Serena Williams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.”

Here reports mentioned Williams’ threats that Ramos “will never, ever” be on another court where she is playing 'as long as he lives', but even national press had very little to say in support of its countryman.

Sports paper “Record” ran a scathing headline showing Ramos leaving the stadium flanked by security men proclaiming: “Referee Carlos Ramos finished ... escorted after enormous earbashing”.

Serena Williams may have lost the title, but she won what many in her sport see as an important battle.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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