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Carlos Ramos could have given Serena Williams a soft warning during the break, says Vijay Amritraj

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Carlos Ramos could have given Serena Williams a soft warning during the break, says Vijay Amritraj

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SportsCafe Desk

09/13/2018

Vijay Amritraj has stated that Carlos Ramos could have given Serena Williams a warning during the break in the women's final of the US Open. As the Serena Williams controversy continues, Amritraj believes that Ramos could only hold on to the rules, while failing to maintain decorum.

In the women's final of the US Open, tennis star Serena Williams was given three code violations, which included a point penalty and a game penalty by Carlos Ramos, chair umpire of the game. Former Indian tennis star Vijay Amritraj has stated that the issue has become a major point of discussion among the crowd and several aspects can be given as to what happened on the tennis court in the final when Serena was playing Naomi Osaka of Japan.

“The first and foremost is that there are rules to the game. You follow the rules, simple as that. Irrespective of if it’s a final or not, you follow the rules. Just because everybody does it doesn’t make it right. If 100 people go over-speeding on the road and only five get caught, that doesn’t make the five guys have the defence of saying ‘everybody does it,” Amritraj told The Indian Express.

“Carlos Ramos is a professional. He’s been there for a long time. He’s umpired at all Grand Slam finals. He’s not a rookie and he’s also known to be a stickler for rules. But there are a lot of umpires who are lax. It’s no different from a cop on the road, sometimes you get a ticket, sometimes you don’t for the same offence. But his job is to maintain a balance in the final, knowing it’s a final.”

According to Amritraj, Carlos is someone who has always adhered to the rules. Following rules are important, but he has asserted that the chair umpire could have handled the situation in a different way. As per Amritraj, Carlos should have given Williams a soft warning during the break itself. He mentioned that even when the racquet was smashed it should have been the first warning. Amritraj said that Ramos should have used his discretion, which he failed to do so.

“But in light of the circumstances, he could have clearly handled it in a different way. He could have given her a soft warning during the break as she was changing ends. This is what he should have done. And if he (Mouratoglou) persisted, then the umpire could have given the warning,” Amritraj said.

“In my opinion, (Ramos) didn’t go with that discretion. I was surprised that a professional of his calibre, he didn’t do that. If he did, it would have certainly calmed the situation. The second incident, smashing the racquet, it was already too late. Smashing the racquet always gets you a warning. But it should have been the first warning, not the second one. By the time it got past that stage, it got too late. He didn’t control that situation. It’s his job to maintain decorum on the court — it’s an unwritten law. This has happened when players have taken too much time between points. You get 25 seconds, Rafael Nadal has taken 45 seconds, has been docked a point before, but he’s been docked after being warned. 99 percent of the time it’s a soft warning the first time. Be it time penalty, interactions with the crowd, coaching is a common factor. So there are lots of areas where there can be a warning.”

According to Amritraj, it was the absence of the soft warning that allowed the whole matter to escalate to this level. While he was sticking to rules, Ramos should have been able to use his discretion on the whole matter. He, however, applauds Naomi Osaka for being the better player on the day of final.

“You’ve got to use that discretion, the umpires are allowed it. But you have to maintain decorum. hats off to the girl (Naomi Osaka) at the other end of the spectrum, who was the star of the whole event. She was the better player on the day. A soft warning is the simplest of warnings. It didn’t happen here, which in my opinion is what escalated the issue in the first place,” the former Indian tennis player said.

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