The chair umpire who penalised Serena Williams in the US Open final has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is “fine.”
Carlos Ramos, who is from Portugal, spoke briefly to Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso this week.
“I’m fine, given the circumstances,” Ramos said. “It’s a delicate situation, but umpiring ‘a la carte’ doesn’t exist. Don’t worry about me.”
The official is thought to have meant that it would be wrong to tailor his umpiring to individual players or different sexes.
The newspaper said Ramos received hundreds of messages of support from family, colleagues, players and former players. He said he has avoided social media and only reads “balanced” articles about the incident. He also refrained from going out the day after the final to avoid problems, according to the report.
Williams, a 23-time grand slam winner, was beaten by Naomi Osaka in the final in New York after having a heated row with Ramos who penalised her for being coached during the match which is not allowed. After the final she accused Ramos of sexism.
The International Tennis Federation has defended Ramos. The US Open fined Williams for her three code violations.
However, the WTA backed Williams in the sexism row and called for equal treatment of male and female tennis players, and for coaching to be allowed across the sport. WTA chief executive Steve Simon said he did not believe Williams had been treated in the same way a male player would have been.
Ramos has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semi-final matches between the United States and Croatia, a best-of-five series which begins tomorrow and ends Sunday in Zadar, Croatia.
Jack Sock is out of the US team because of a hip injury and has been replaced by Ryan Harrison.
US captain Jim Courier says Sock was hurt last week while playing in the doubles semi-finals at the US Open with Mike Bryan. Harrison was already on stand-by for the Davis Cup.
The winner of the best-of-five series will meet either France or Spain in the Davis Cup final.