Serena Williams may have fallen just short of another major tennis championship, but she accomplished something far more significant in defeat.
By Neil Harrington
Odds are you have never heard the name, Carlos Ramos. If you have, then that means something went terribly wrong — which of course it did today at the 2018 U.S. Open women’s tennis finals.
Umpire Carlos Ramos made enemies with tennis G.O.A.T Serena Williams and thousands of angry tennis fans at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, after butchering several calls — leading to a controversial loss for Williams in the finals.
Officials and referees should never decide the outcome of a game or match — in any sport. However, time and time again history repeats itself, especially when the stakes are at their highest.
The Telegraph documented a play by play of the events as they unfolded for Williams and Ramos.
- Williams is given a code violation warning for “coaching” with the score at 2-6, 1-0, which she disputes, “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” she tells umpire Carlos Ramos.
- Williams is given a code violation for smashing her racket in frustration. Paired with the earlier warning, she was hit with a point penalty.
- In response, Williams says: “Every time I play here, I have problems. I did not have coaching, I don’t cheat. You need to make an announcement. I have a daughter, and I stand for what’s right. You owe me an apology.”
- Williams is not done and continues her disapproval: “For you to attack my character is wrong. You owe me an apology. You will never be on a court with me as long as you live. You are the liar. You owe me an apology. Say it. Say you’re sorry. How dare you insinuate that I was cheating? You stole a point from me. You’re a thief too.”
- Williams is then tagged with a penalty for verbal abuse, making the score 2-6, 3-5. She demands (lead) referee Brian Earley come on to the court. “You know my character. This is not right. To lose a game for saying that, it’s not fair. How many other men do things? There’s a lot of men out here who have said a lot of things. It’s because I am a woman, and that’s not right.”
- Osaka then wins the match 6-2, 6-4 for her first major title.
- Williams refuses to shake Ramos’s hand and then asks for another penalty.
Ramos not only got trigger-happy, hitting Williams with a ticky-tack infraction, but he also accused her of cheating — which is disgraceful.
Making mistakes as an umpire is one thing, but treating the superstar of the sport with that level of disrespect is uncalled for.
You cannot continue to degrade a person and expect them not to finally pounce back. @serenawilliams has consistently displayed perseverance and grace but she is not to be made a fool of. “Let this be a remind to all… I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose.” #usopen pic.twitter.com/5Vwlebh7yx
— Ryan Jamaal Swain (@RyanJamaal) September 8, 2018
“I don’t cheat to win… I’d rather lose.”
Williams put Ramos in his place, and it’s about time somebody did. Shut up and color, Ramos.
A handful of fans on social media added insult to injury, calling Williams all sorts of awful names — saying that “it’s that time of the month,” and other demeaning things. Despicable.
Williams has earned the right to speak her mind, and she did so with class. It’s okay for a woman to stand up for herself and express herself, without being called such things. Superstars in other sports do it all the time and don’t get bashed for speaking their mind.
Things then began spiraling during the closing ceremonies, when thousands of fans were jeering Osaka, in reality, Ramos, in protest. They feel that Williams was robbed of her 24th (singles) major title.
Osaka broke down in tears and Williams came to her rescue just in the nick of time.
The crowd boos in protest of the US Open final's officiating. pic.twitter.com/hFAZdAIJYk
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 8, 2018
Williams would have none of that nonsense either and shifted the attention to its rightful recipient, Naomi Osaka — who is now the first player from Japan ever to win a major singles tennis championship.
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) September 8, 2018
“I know you guys were here rooting, and I was rooting, too, but let’s make this the best moment we can. … We’re going to get through this and let’s be positive. So congratulations, Naomi. No more booing.”
Both women are winners, with how they played on the court and acted in the midst of controversy.
Serena Williams is still a Queen and displays the heart of a champion, even in defeat.
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