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Serena Williams dismissed umpire Carlos Ramos (R) who tried to discipline her last year

‘I don’t know who that is’: Serena Williams dismisses umpire Carlos Ramos following decision to stop him taking charge of her matches this year  after furious row in 2018 US Open final

  • It was not a good 24 hours at US Open for those in the profession of umpiring
  • First it emerged that Damien Steiner has been sacked by the ATP Tour 
  • Then Serena Williams dismissed the man who tried to discipline her last year
  • Williams was in confident mood after imperious dismissal of Maria Sharapova
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It was not a good 24 hours at the US Open for those who work in the often thankless profession of umpiring.

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First it emerged that Damien Steiner, who sat in the chair for last month’s epic Wimbledon men’s final, has been sacked by the ATP Tour. Then Serena Williams loftily dismissed the man who tried to discipline her in last year’s tumultuous championship match at Flushing Meadows.

Williams was in confident mood after her imperious dismissal of old foe Maria Sharapova, beating her 6-1, 6-1 in their opening night encounter. It may have been her most commanding performance since returning from becoming a parent last year.

Serena Williams dismissed umpire Carlos Ramos (R) who tried to discipline her last year

Serena Williams dismissed umpire Carlos Ramos (R) who tried to discipline her last year

Afterwards she was asked for her reaction to the decision that she and umpire Carlos Ramos – who nearly defaulted her in the women’s final – would be kept apart at this year’s edition.

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‘I don’t know who that is,’ she responded.

The main takeaway from the much-hyped match was that Williams, who now faces American teenager Catherine McNally, was inspired again by the sight of arch enemy Sharapova at the other end of the court and looked in frighteningly good form.

Williams was in confident mood after her imperious dismissal of old foe Maria Sharapova (R)

Williams was in confident mood after her imperious dismissal of old foe Maria Sharapova (R)

Williams was in confident mood after her imperious dismissal of old foe Maria Sharapova (R)

At least there was no controversy with the officiating, although the tournament had already kicked off with news of another umpire in strife.

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The New York Times reported that Steiner has been dismissed by the tour for giving a series of unauthorised interviews in his native Argentina in the wake of him presiding over the classic final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic at SW19.

Steiner, an elite Gold Badge holder rated as one of the sport’s best, gave at least a dozen interviews to the media after his return home, and his crime was straying into areas that are strictly off limits.

Damien Steiner, who sat in chair for 2019 Wimbledon men's final, has been sacked by ATP Tour

Damien Steiner, who sat in chair for 2019 Wimbledon men's final, has been sacked by ATP Tour

Damien Steiner, who sat in chair for 2019 Wimbledon men’s final, has been sacked by ATP Tour

Among other things he made suggestions that there should be restrictions on the use of towelling down and that let serves might be abolished. He also talked about the final itself.

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‘Much of the content of Steiner’s media interviews were a direct violation of the standard protocol in place whereby officials must refrain from discussing specific incidents or matches, individual players, other officials, or rules, in the interest of maintaining impartiality at all times,’ the ATP Tour said in a statement.

His axing ironically comes at the start of a tournament which has declared a sort of Glasnost when it comes to officiating, with the pledge that umpiring decisions will be made much clearer to the media and public.