Wimbledon chief says Serena Williams' US Open meltdown was 'not a good look'

  • Wimbledon's chief has rushed to defend Carlos Ramos, the man who chaired the US Open final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.

  • Ramos slapped Williams with three code violations during a dramatic match — a match she eventually lost.

  • Philip Brook, chairmain of the All England Club, said Williams' meltdown in the final was "not a good look for tennis," that Ramos was "just doing his job," and doubted that the fiasco would happen at Wimbledon.

  • Williams is not expected to play no part in the rest of the 2018 season.

A Wimbledon chief has rushed to the defence of Carlos Ramos, the man who chaired the controvesial 2018 US Open final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.

Philip Brook, chairman of the All England Club, said Ramos was "just doing his job" when he slapped Williams with three code violations during the match, according to The Times.

The first violation was for coaching, which Williams argued against. "I don't cheat to win — I'd rather lose," she said. Williams was later given a violation for smashing her racket, costing her a point. Her third violation, for calling the Ramos a "thief," cost her a game and, subsequently, the competition.

Williams' outburst was headline news for the next week as Australian newspaper The Herald Sun lampooned the American in a cartoon that exaggerated certain features and gave her wiry hair, a big nose, and oversized lips. The cartoon was criticised for its racial tropes and was called racist and misogynistic by Williams' husband, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian.

Now, Wimbledon boss Brook said he believes Williams' behaviour was "not a good look for tennis."

"It was a relatively unique set of circumstances," Brook said. "People said to me, 'Would that happen at Wimbledon?' The first reaction is maybe it could but actually I do wonder.

"You have a very partisan crowd [in New York] who really wanted Serena to win. There is a huge amount resting on this because she is one match away from equalling Margaret Court’s record [of 24 grand-slam singles titles]. It is a bit cauldron-like.

He went on: "When they walk on court, it’s not like a Wimbledon final. The final of Wimbledon [this year] was similar in some senses [Williams also had a chance to equal Court’s record but lost to Angelique Kerber] but it wasn’t her home crowd in her home country.

"I could imagine the pressure on her being even greater than ever because of those circumstances and we all saw what happened. I think she was under a lot of pressure, [Ramos] was doing his job and what unfolded, unfolded."

Regarding calls by the USTA and WTA for coaching to be permitted during matches, Brook acknowledged there is a conversation to be had, but added: "We philosophically are in a place where we think tennis singles is a gladiatorial sport. We think it would be a very sad day for tennis if that were to change."

Serena Williams is not expected to play any part in the rest of the 2018 season, according to Tennis.com.

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