Chair Umpire Confronted by Serena Williams Won't Work Her 2019 U.S. Open Matches

Jenna West
Sports Illustrated

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos will not work Serena Williams' 2019 U.S. Open matches following their conflict in last year's final, according to the New York Times.

In a phone interview with the Times, Stacey Allaster, chief executive for professional tennis at the United States Tennis Association, said Ramos will be on this year's Open umpiring staff but will not be assigned to the matches of Williams or her sister Venus.

"We don’t need to go there," Allaster said. "There are more than 900 matches here over the three weeks, and there are lots of matches for Carlos to do."

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Allaster also said the Open's officials don't want people to be distracted by Ramos and Williams being paired together on the court.

"We want to be focused on the competition and want to go forward," she said. "This is just for 2019. Let's just not put everyone in that spotlight. It's not necessary."

Ramos has not worked a match involving Williams since last year, where he gave her three code-of-conduct violations and docked her a point. Williams lost the final to rising star Naomi Osaka, 6-2, 6-4. She called Ramos a "thief" and "liar" and denied his claim that her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, was cheating by communicating with her during the match. Mouratoglou later said he was sending her signals, but Williams said she didn't see them.

At the 2016 U.S. Open, Ramos accused Venus, whose professionalism is a tour standard, of receiving signals from her coach. She vehemently denied it.

According to the Times, it is unknown how much longer Williams and Ramos will not share the court.

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