Several tennis associations have come to the aid of Serena Williams after her loss to Naomi Osaka during the U.S. Open final.
Williams, in the final, was fined $10,000 for “verbal abuse” of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, another $4,000 for being warned for coaching in the match, and $3,000 for breaking her tennis racket. It comes out of her $1.85 million prize money, according to The Associated Press.
The Women’s Tennis Association and the U.S. Tennis Association both sent out statements supporting Williams during the loss.
WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement that “there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men [vs.] women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done.”
USTA President Katrina Adams told ESPN that there are “double standards” for how some tennis umpires treat men and women players. “I think there has to be some consistency across the board. These are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks,” she said.
“I know what Serena did and her behavior was not welcome. A line could have been drawn, but when you look at Carlos in this situation, it’s a judgment call to give that last penalty because she called him a thief. They’ve been called a lot more,” she said.
Williams was warned by Ramos for getting coaching, which is against the Grand Slam rule matches. She disputed the ruling, saying that cheating is “the one thing I’ve never done, ever.” Her coach, after the match, admitted to AP that he indeed was trying to send her a signal
She got another warning a few games later for smashing her racket. The second violation cost her a point, and it led to more arguing from her.
Williams called Ramos “a thief,” which drew the third violation against her for “verbal abuse,” and it cost her the game. That put Osaka ahead 5-3, AP reported.
“I have never cheated in my life!” Williams said to Ramos. “You owe me an apology.”
Under Article III, Section P of the Grand Slam Rule Book, “verbal abuse” is defined as “a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting or otherwise abusive.” The section says a player is subject to a fine up to $20,000 for each violation, AP noted.
“You will never, ever, ever be on another court of mine as long as you live,” Williams shouted at Ramos, according to Fox News. “You are the liar. When are you going to give me my apology? You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry…And you stole a point from me. You’re a thief, too!”