Embattled tennis umpire Ramos 'good' despite US Open controversy

Umpire Carlos Ramos has made his first public statement since the U.S. Open, saying he was "good" despite the firestorm of controversy that followed his officiating of last weekend's women's final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.

The 47-year-old Portuguese handed out three code violations to runner-up Williams on Saturday, prompting a heated on-court argument with the 23-times Grand Slam champion and sparking a debate about sexism in tennis.

"I am good, under the circumstances," Ramos was quoted as saying in Portugal's Tribuna Expresso.

"It's an unhappy situation but a la carte refereeing doesn't exist.

"Don't you worry about me!"

Ramos, who told the newspaper that he had avoided walking the streets of New York on Sunday to avoid any "complicated situations," confirmed he would be back in the chair on Friday in Zadar, Croatia.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), which on Monday issued a statement describing Ramos as one of the most respected umpires in tennis, has appointed him to officiate the semi-final of the Davis Cup, the international men's team event, between Croatia and the United States.

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Serena Williams argues with chair umpire at US Open finals
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Serena Williams argues with chair umpire at US Open finals
Sep 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the United States yells at chair umpire Carlos Ramos in the women's final against Naomi Osaka of Japan on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Sept 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the USA argues with tournament referee Brian Earley while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan in the women?s final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; (L-R) Naomi Osaka of Japan, Serena Williams of the United States, and chair umpire Carlos Ramos talk after Ramos charges Williams with a game penalty in the second set in the women's final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS
Sep 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; (L-R) Naomi Osaka of Japan, chair umpire Carlos Ramos, and Serena Williams of the United States during the women's final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY SPORTS
Sept 8, 2018; New York, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the USA argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos (not pictured) while playing Naomi Osaka of Japan in the women?s final on day thirteen of the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
2018 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Thirteen. Serena Williams of the United States argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos during her match against Naomi Osaka of Japan in the Women's Singles Final on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2018 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8th, 2018 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
2018 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Thirteen. Serena Williams of the United States argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos after receiving a one game penalty during her match against Naomi Osaka of Japan in the Women's Singles Final on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2018 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8th, 2018 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
2018 US Open Tennis Tournament- Day Thirteen. Serena Williams of the United States argues with chair umpire Carlos Ramos after receiving a one game penalty during her match against Naomi Osaka of Japan in the Women's Singles Final on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the 2018 US Open Tennis Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 8th, 2018 in Flushing, Queens, New York City. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
USTA BILLIE JEAN KING NATIONAL T, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2018/09/08: Serena Williams of USA reacts after receiving code violation during women's single final of US Open against Naomi Osaka of Japan at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Women's Tennis Association (WTA) both publicly backed the allegations of sexism leveled at Ramos after Saturday's match.

Williams was fined $17,000 and docked a point and a game for three code violations during the match, including breaking a racket and verbally abusing the umpire.

Billie Jean King, the former world number one who founded the WTA in the 1970s, said on Tuesday all sides shared blame for the incident, saying Williams was "out of line" but that Ramos could have prevented the controversy with more leniency and clearer communication.

Ramos was unable to defend himself in public in New York as the row escalated over the weekend as ITF rules prevent umpires from commenting on their matches.

The incident sparked another social media storm on Monday when a cartoon was published in an Australian newspaper depicting Williams with exaggerated features, which civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson among others described as "racist."

The Herald Sun, owned by News Corp, defied allegations of racism on Wednesday when it reprinted the cartoon on its front page, attempting to portray the controversy as a matter of freedom of speech.

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