The Women’s Tennis Association issued a statement Sunday in defense of Serena Williams, the tennis superstar who lost the U.S. Open after a contentious, controversial spat with the match’s umpire, Carlos Ramos. After Ramos issued three penalties against Williams in the second set, many argued that his decisions were sexist and unfair. WTA CEO Steve Simon agreed in the organization’s statement on the matter, which was posted to Twitter Sunday night. “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,” the organization wrote. “We do not believe that this was done last night.”
But the International Tennis Foundation defended Ramos’ decision, arguing in a statement cited by BBC Sports that Ramos acted “at all times with professionalism and integrity.” The ITF added: “Mr Ramos’ decisions were in accordance with the relevant rules and were reaffirmed by the US Open's decision to fine Ms Williams for the three [offenses].” Following the tournament, Williams was issued a fine of $17,000 for the three violations Ramos cited: coaching, smashing her racket, and verbal abuse. The fine will be deducted from the $1.85 million she won as runner-up.