The game’s top umpires are considering forming a union because they believe Carlos Ramos was “hung out to dry” by the authorities during and after the US Open women’s final despite upholding the rules in sanctioning Serena Williams.
Many officials were also left angry with the fact that the International Tennis Federation took nearly 48 hours to defend Ramos, on Monday afternoon, by which time the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and United States Tennis Association (USTA) had supported Williams’s claims of sexism after she was given a game penalty for her behaviour during her defeat by Naomi Osaka.
Umpires are not allowed to speak out publicly under the terms of their contracts, and are employed by grand slams and men’s and women’s tours, which means many are reluctant to say anything for fear of losing their jobs. However, one senior figure told the Guardian that privately there was widespread concern about how the USTA and WTA had rushed to support Williams – which had led to vitriol and abuse on social media for Ramos.
“There is a lot of unhappiness in the umpiring community because no one is standing up for officials,” the senior figure told the Guardian. “Umpires keep asking: ‘What if it was me in that chair on Saturday?’ There is a widespread feeling that Carlos was hung out to dry for nearly 48 hours and that no one is standing up for officials.”