Update privacy choices
Sports

Serena Williams: Umpire breaks silence over US Open final controversy

Sports Staff
The Independent

The umpire at the centre of the Serena Williams controversy has broken his silence on the incident and defended his actions during a heated US Open final.

Carlos Ramos handed Williams a coaching violation during the match against Naomi Osaka after she a hand gesture from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Williams responded by telling Ramos she would rather lose than cheat.

She was then docked a point for a second violation when she smashed her racket. Continuing her argument with Ramos at the next change of ends, Williams accused him of being a thief for taking a point away from her.

Ramos gave her a third violation, which resulted in a game penalty, putting Osaka 5-3 ahead. A tearful Williams argued her case with tournament officials but, although she held serve in the next game, Osaka served out the victory 6-2 6-4.

READ MORE: Serena says Nike have made 'powerful statement' with Kaepernick

READ MORE: Tennis - Serena fallout continues as umpires consider forming union

Williams, who was fined £13,000 over her actions, later defended herself claiming she was fighting for "women's rights and for women's equality".

But speaking for first time since Ramos has indicated he is satisfied with how he handled the situation.

"I am good, under the circumstances," Ramos told Portugues outlet Tribuna Expresso. "It's an unhappy situation but a-la-carte refereeing doesn't exist. Don't you worry about me!"

Meanwhile, one of Australia's largest newspapers has backed its cartoonist amid a global controversy over an illustration of Williams by publishing his work on its front page.

JK Rowling and Nicki Minaj were among a "tidal wave" of critics to denounce the image by Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight as "racist and sexist" after it appeared in its paper on Monday.

Williams, a 23-time grand slam winner, was beaten by Naomi Osaka in the US Open final after having a heated row with umpire Carlos Ramos.

The controversial illustration showed the runner-up jumping on a racquet lying next to a baby's dummy.

For its Wednesday edition, the Herald Sun filled its front page with cartoons, including the contentious Williams image, along with likenesses of US president Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

Under the headline "welcome to PC world", the paper said: "If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed."

It came after the paper's editor, Damon Johnston, said the cartoon "rightly mocks poor behaviour by a tennis legend" and Mr Knight has the "has the full support of everyone" at the paper.

1,954 Reactions

What to read next