Novak Djokovic and Steve Simon of the WTA both shared their thoughts on what took place at Saturday's U.S. Open Final with Serena Williams.
Novak Djokovic and the WTA shared their opinions on what transpired between Serena Williams and chair umpire Carlos Ramos during Saturday's U.S. Open women's final.
Djokovic was asked about the controversial decisions to dock Williams a point and then a full game due to conduct violations after he had just won the U.S. Open men's final to capture his 14th Grand Slam title. He said it was "a very awkward situation" for everyone involved, including the 2018 U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka. Djokovic also mentioned that people should "empathize" with Ramos before explaining that he didn't agree with the chair umpire's approach during the match.
"But I have my personal opinion that maybe the chair umpire should not have pushed Serena to the limit, especially in a Grand Slam final," Djokovic said according to Sandra Harwitt of USA Today. "Just maybe changed—not maybe, but he did change the course of the match. It was, in my opinion, maybe unnecessary. We all go through our emotions, especially when you're fighting for a Grand Slam trophy."
In a statement released Sunday by the WTA, CEO Steve Simon called attention to how men and women are not given the same freedom to express emotions in matches due to differences in officiating.
"[Saturday's] US Open final resulted in the crowning of a deserving new champion, Naomi Osaka. The WTA applauds Naomi for her tremendous accomplishment.
[Saturday] also brought to the forefront the question of whether different standards are applied to men and women in the officiating of matches. The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men vs. women and is committed to working with the sport to ensure that all players are treated the same. We do not believe that this was done [Saturday] night.
We also think the issue of coaching needs to be addressed and should be allowed across the sport. The WTA supports coaching through its on-court coaching rule, but further review is needed.
[Saturday's] match showcased one of tennis's new stars as well as one of the greatest players of the game. We look forward to more thrilling matches between these great athletes and hope that what we all witnessed [Saturday] never happens again."
When asked about the WTA's statement, Djokovic disagreed with Simon, saying, "it's hard to generalize things." Djokovic added that he thinks men and women are "treated in this way or the other way depending on the situation."
On Sunday, Williams was fined $17,000 for the code violations.