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Serena Williams is Right – Carlos Ramos Is a Thief

Posted on September 08, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Tennis Thief Carlos Ramos.

Tennis Thief Carlos Ramos.

Sports officials have been doing their collective best to ruin sports, ensure they are part of the show and occasionally thrust themselves into the outcome of a contest for years, but tennis umpire Carlos Ramos has now taken that self-indulgence to an unprecedented level by stealing the opportunity for a competitor to fairly compete for a title at the 2018 U.S. Open Women’s Final.

Naomi Osaka played a great match to win the women’s tennis U.S. Open, but there is no doubt that Carlos Ramos stole the chance for Serena Williams to win her 24th Grand Slam by deciding he was bigger than the players or the match.

Early in the second set he gave a penalty to the coach of Serena Williams, Patrick Mouratoglou, for what he called coaching during the match. While Mouratoglou admitted after the match that he was coaching, he also said that he and every coach does some type of coaching during every match. That was acknowledged by Chrissie Evert during her commentary.

Williams, however, insisted that she was not cheating and Mouratoglou said after the match that he was pretty sure that Serena didn’t see him.

Later in the set, after having finally broken Osaka and then being broken back twice, Williams broke her racket in frustration.

Because of the previous violation, Serena received a second conduct warning, which resulted in the loss of a point in a game that Osaka won by love.

At the next break, Serena was still frustrated and multiple times asked the umpire to apologize to her for what she considered calling her a cheater. As he kept refusing to acknowledge any culpability, Serena said that he stole a point from her and then called the official a thief, which seems to be pretty accurate. Just to be clear, she did not cuss at him or use any abusive words.

Showing that he was determined to make this match about him, Ramos called a third conduct penalty on Serena, which he knew when he was doing it would result in a game penalty and basically end the chance for Serena to win the match because it took away a chance for Williams to break Osaka and brought her within one game of losing the match.

As an experienced official with previous grand slam experience both on the men’s and women’s side, Ramos should have known that this was the time for him to show restraint and understand that athletes in those situations are playing with great emotion and adrenaline and if they are not using abusive language should receive restraint from someone in his position. Evert and the other ESPN commentators after the match suggested that Ramos should have spoken with Williams and told her she needed to stop what he considered to be an aggressive tone or he would give her a misconduct penalty.

Tennis umpire Carlos Ramos is trying to justify his horrible ruling to the players during the 2018 U.S. Open.

Tennis umpire Carlos Ramos is trying to justify his horrible ruling to the players during the 2018 U.S. Open.

Unfortunately, that was not the choice Ramos made as he went right to giving her the penalty and clearly decided that his feelings were more important than allowing the players and the fans the opportunity for a match to be truly decided on the court of play.

As can be expected, the third penalty by Ramos and subsequent game penalty surprised and frustrated Serena. This is not the first time she has been singled out in a way that she considers to be unfair by officials at the U.S. Open.

Her argument when the tournament official came out to hear her complaint was that she didn’t use profanity and didn’t say anything close to what male players have been getting away with for generations without receiving similar consequences, especially in a major final.

If Serena’s comments were too much for Ramos to handle, it is a good thing he wasn’t the umpire when Ilie Năstase, John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors were on the court.

To be fair, Ramos isn’t the first sports umpire or official who thought he was bigger than the game he was overseeing. Baseball umpires have been out of control for generations and several NBA officials have been known for making themselves bigger than the players.

However, what he did to rob Serena of a chance to legitimately fight to win a record tying 24th major title takes egotistical officiating to a new high level.

Sadly, not only did Ramos steal the chance for Serena to fight for the title, but he robbed Naomi Osaka of the joy that usually comes with winning a first major title.

During the trophy presentation after the match, the stadium was engulfed in booing by the fans at a moment when Osaka should have been soaking up accolades and cheers.

To her credit, moments after what was certainly one of the most difficult moments of her professional career, Serena took the microphone and encouraged the crowd not to boo anymore and to give Naomi the recognition she deserved.

Fortunately, the crowd responded and the next few minutes at least were tolerable for the 20-year-old Osaka, though she was in tears and clearly overwhelmed by a spectacle to which she was a vested observer.

This was the first time Ramos was the chair umpire for the women’s final at the U.S. Open, though he had been in the chair for two other women’s grand slam finals and the finals for all four men’s grand slam tournaments.

If there is any justice, this will be his last time allowed to be in the chair for any significant tennis tournament.

Because, HE IS A THIEF!

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