In the wake of a controversial Grand Slam, umpires are reportedly discussing the boycott of Serena Williams’s matches. This comes shortly after Williams accused umpire Carlos Ramos of sexism following a game penalty in the US Open women’s final on September 9.

Ramos levied a penalty citing verbal abuse when Williams broke her racket in frustration and called the chair umpire a ‘thief’.

The Grand Slam singles winner claimed that Ramos would not have treated a male player in a similar fashion.

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The CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, Steve Simon, in a statement said that the organisation “believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women” and that does “not believe that this was done last night”.

US Tennis Association (USTA) President Katrina Adams said that a double standard exists in how chair umpires treat male and female players.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) belatedly released a statement supporting Ramos saying, “Mr Ramos’s decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were reaffirmed by the US Open’s decision to fine Ms Williams for the three offences”. 

Top umpires are angry that the ITF took 48 hours to defend Ramos and they believe that he was ‘hung out to dry’ by the authorities during and after the US Open final.

A report by The Times of London quoted an anonymous official who said that the umpires often felt that they were ‘not supported’ by the USTA. 

Umpires are not allowed to issue public statements under the terms of their contracts. This has led to the talk of several umpires privately pushing for an officials’ union, and an eventual boycott of Williams’s matches.

Williams was fined $17,000 on Sunday for her coaching, racket destruction and verbal abuse violations at the US Open final. Williams's defeat cost her dearly as a win here would have helped her equal Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slams.

Ramos broke his silence and made his first public statement since the US Open saying, “I’m fine, given the circumstances”.  He told Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso, “It’s a delicate situation, but umpiring ‘a la carte’ doesn’t exist. Don’t worry about me”.