Madison Keys believes the incident between Serena Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos during the US Open final needs to be “looked at more closely” to evaluate whether the issue of sexism in tennis officiating exists and accordingly address it.
Williams accused Ramos of sexism after he issued her three code violations that resulted in her receiving a game penalty en route to her straight-sets loss to Naomi Osaka in New York.
The American 23-time Grand Slam champion claims she wouldn’t have been treated that way by an official if she was a man, allegations that have gained the attention of millions across the globe.
The ITF released a statement supporting Ramos’ decisions during the final, which were all according to the Grand Slam rule book.
The incident cast a shadow on the US Open final and saw Osaka win her maiden Grand Slam in front of a booing New York crowd.
Last year’s US Open runner-up Keys, who lost to Osaka in this year’s semis, was asked at the Wuhan Open on Monday, if she ever felt like she was being treated unfairly by an umpire compared to the treatment the male players receive.
“I think that the whole situation, it was extremely unfortunate that a match was going the way that it was going, especially for Naomi, to be playing so well, be in the final, then all of that to happen,” said Keys after her first round win over Wang Yafan in Wuhan.
“The first words out of her mouth after she won her first Grand Slam were, ‘I’m sorry’. I felt so bad. It was just really sad watching it all unfold. Knowing Serena personally, I know that it felt like a very personal attack, as well.
“So I think everyone was just — it was unfortunate, it was emotional. I think we can maybe look at past things and see how other situations were handled, specifically in the US Open, which kind of raises some eyebrows.
“I think overall it was just a really unfortunate experience. I think we should probably look at it more closely and see if there is a bigger issue. If there is, it’s something that needs to be addressed.”
The 23-year-old American added: “I don’t know if it’s something that I’ve personally had to deal with. I feel like if I’m having a bad day, it’s not usually as much outwardly.
“So I don’t think I’ve dealt with even codes as much. I can’t really personally talk about it. I think it’s something that needs to be addressed because there have been instances where people have felt that way.”
Keys, currently ranked 18 in the world, next faces Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the Wuhan second round on Tuesday. It will be their third meeting of the season (they’ve split their matches against each other in 2018), and 10th overall, with Kerber leading their head-to-head 7-2.
“I feel like she’s the person that I’m going to play another 195 times before we both retire. I was unsurprised, I guess. But, I mean, it’s a tough match. It’s always a tough match,” said Keys of her familiar foe, Kerber.
“I feel like being able to have a win this summer against her is something that I can look at, look to see what I did really well. So that’s nice to fall back on instead of having to look at something like four years ago.”
— WTA (@WTA) September 24, 2018
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