BREAKING NEWS Mission Fire burns structure in Tehama County Full Story
BREAKING NEWS Five new Covid-19 cases reported in Shasta County Saturday Full Story

Former umpire defends Carlos Ramos amid furore

Former umpire Richard Ings defends Carlos Ramos, the umpire at the center of the storm surrounding Serena Williams at the US Open.

Posted: Sep 13, 2018 5:47 AM
Updated: Sep 13, 2018 5:47 AM

Carlos Ramos, the umpire at the center of the storm surrounding Serena Williams at the US Open, was "thrown under a bus" by tennis' governing bodies, says a former top-level umpire.

Speaking to CNN World Sport's Don Riddell, Richard Ings said the treatment of Ramos after a final which sparked debate about sexism in tennis would have left "umpires everywhere seething."

Saturday's final descended into controversy in the second set when Williams was given a code violation for getting signals from her coach, handed a point penalty for smashing her racket and then docked a game for an outburst in which she called Ramos a "liar" and a "thief." She was later fined $17,000 for the three code violations.

The 23-time grand slam champion, who went on to lose in straight sets to Japan's Naomi Osaka, told reporters that being penalized a game was "sexist."

"Carlos Ramos has been a professional umpire for four decades," said Ings. "There's no one more experienced, no one more knowledgeable, no one more capable as an umpire than Carlos Ramos.

"If governing bodies can throw him under a bus then umpires everywhere are seething ... They've lost their safety factor of knowing that these governing bodies will support them."

READ: Serena 'out of line' but umpire 'blew it'

READ: Why Naomi Osaka could have last laugh

'A watershed moment in officiating'

Williams' claims of sexism were backed by the governing body of women's tennis, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), whose chief executive said the umpire had shown the 36-year-old a different level of tolerance than if she had been a man.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) also supported Williams' claims, while Billie Jean King, founder of the WTA and winner of 12 grand slam singles titles, told CNN Tuesday that though Williams was "out of line," Ramos had aggravated the situation.

"I felt like at the very beginning he blew it," King said. "As an umpire you're supposed to keep the flow of the match going and he did just the opposite."

On Monday, the International Tennis Federation said Ramos acted "at all times with professionalism and integrity," a statement welcomed by Ings, who was a professional chair umpire from 1986 to 1993.

"This has been a bit of a watershed moment in the history of professional officiating," he told CNN.

"Until this moment in time, professional officials expected that when they made tough decisions on court they'd be fully backed by the governing bodies. But, in this case, particularly through the WTA, this has not happened. We just made life difficult for umpires everywhere.

"Every match is different and every incident is different and Carlos did a tremendous job in this particular match."

Ings, who was the director of officiating for the ATP Tour from 2001-2005, added: "It's great the ITF has put out a message of support but the WTA needs to do something to protect the interest of umpires and make sure players show respect to officials on court."

Ings said the incident itself would not worry umpires but the handling of it would be an issue.

"What happened on court in this particular match is not something that is going to trouble professional umpires. Players get upset on court, players get code violations on court. The incidents on the court are not the issue," he added.

"The big issue for umpires everywhere is the importance of the support of governing bodies when umpires are just out there doing their job and making decisions under rules which are given to them by those very governing bodies."

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

Portugese newspaper Tribuna Expresso reported that Ramos had avoided walking the streets of New York on Sunday to avoid any "complicated situations."

"It's an unhappy situation but 'à la carte' refereeing doesn't exist. Don't you worry about me," the 47-year-old is quoted as saying in the newspaper.

Ramos will next umpire at the US-Croatia Davis Cup semi-final in Zadar, Croatia this weekend.

According to the Guardian, the sport's top umpires are considering forming a union as a result of the fallout from the women's final.

Under the terms of their contracts, umpires -- who are employed by grand slams and men's and women's tours -- are not allowed to speak out publicly.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 318761

Reported Deaths: 7027
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1303943795
Riverside24765537
Orange23901421
San Diego19371422
San Bernardino18912304
Fresno790687
Imperial7827135
Alameda7725148
Kern633997
San Joaquin627968
Santa Clara5983166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento533981
Stanislaus463351
Contra Costa460589
San Francisco442650
Ventura424653
San Mateo3949112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin343430
Kings289839
Monterey254018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma165014
Placer105511
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8938
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5683
Napa4774
Sutter3724
Butte3384
San Benito3362
El Dorado3070
Lassen2750
Shasta1876
Yuba1803
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Colusa1130
Mendocino1130
Lake1081
Tehama1041
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono501
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 105° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Paradise
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 44°
Red Bluff
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 105° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 70°
Willows
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 107° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 68°
There is a Red Flag Warning in Modoc county today and tomorrow with temperatures getting as hot as 110 degrees for some in the Valley by Wednesday.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events