Why Serena Williams' Punishment is a Clear Case of Double Standards

Umpire coach Carlos Ramos treated Serena Williams unfairly during the recent US Open Final against Naomi Osaka. This looked to be a case of double standards. But before you get tempted to go to your Twitter account for outrage, it may be best to take the time to watch the complete match and observe how the heat builds up. Make sure you watch it until the very end where you will see Williams asking the crowd to stop their booing of the umpire.

What really surprised us was the stark difference between the commentary from Australia and the US. Commentators of the ESPN were all shocked by the situation, as it was unfolding, not because of the performance of Serena Williams but because of Carlos Ramos, an experienced umpire.

The commentators consisted of former professional player Mary Jo Fernandez and Chris Evert, a tennis legend. There were also comments from Billie Jean King, another tennis legend, as well as Virginia Wade, a former player and also a BBC commentator. When hearing these comments, you’ll start to get a consistent reading of what really took place.

Katrina Adams, the president of the US Tennis Association, took the most unusual step of delivering a statement right after the trophy was presented at Gclub. It’s also worth mentioning that the umpire was not thanked at the stage, which used to be the norm in every trophy presentation.

In Australia, Serena Williams was criticized widely for robbing the highlight from her opponent, Osaka. This event should have been the highlight of Osaka’s career – she beat her idol! But it was actually the umpire inserting himself to the game that removed the attention from Osaka.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray is also said to have accused Carlos Ramos in the past during a match at the Rio Olympics. He accused him of wanting to become the star of the show.

Shortly, right after the final match ended, ABC Offsiders’ host and panel roundly criticized the way Serena Williams reacted. Most of the commentaries from other news outlets adopted a similar tone. They believe that Williams broke the rules and should suffer the consequences. However, the point she has argued was that the same rules get broken in every tournament without the same consequences being meted out. Indeed, it’s a perfect case of double standards.

Carlos Ramos, the umpire coach, is among the most experienced umpires of the tour. In fact, he already has a gold badge status and this badge is only given to the “best” in the sport. He’s also recognized for being a stickler of the rules.

There’s no problem with that, however, he should be a stickler for each and every player and not just on Serena Williams. If he is, then Williams will not have any leg to stand on after this event. But other famous tennis players in the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have had their own moments with the same umpire.


Featured image by James Boyes from UK (FlickrUploaded by Flickrworker) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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