Serena Williams is returning to the US open but will not be anywhere near Carlos Ramos
Last year's US open women's finals was unmissable for two reasons: Naomi Osaka won her first ever grand slam and Serena Williams had an epic showdown with umpire Carlos Ramos.
Unless you weren't on social media or off meditating at a silent ashram somewhere remote, you probably heard of the incident.
According to USOpen.org, the 37-year-old tennis veteran was given a code violation for coaching at 40-15 in the first game of the second set and a second code violation for smashing her racquet after double-faulting on consecutive points at 3-1.
This resulted in a heated back and forth between Williams and Ramos who told the latter that she doesn’t cheat to win and claimed he was attacking her character.
Williams then proceeded to call Ramos a "thief" and said he had stolen a point from her. It's norm in a tennis match to get a one-point penalty if you get two code violations.
A second official was then involved in the incident which led to an escalated row with the Tournament Referee Brian Earley who gave Williams a third code violation for verbal abuse.
“It’s not right, it’s not fair,” Williams said to Earley. "For you to attack my character, something is wrong."
Since then it seems the two have sort of made up and the incident is now firmly behind them but Stacey Allaster, the chief executive for professional tennis at the United States Tennis Association, has revealed to The New York Times that Ramos will be returning to umpire at this year’s US Open, he will not be officiating in any matches involving Serena or her sister Venus.
“We don’t need to go there,” Allaster told The New York Times.
“There are more than 900 matches here over the three weeks, and there are lots of matches for Carlos to do.”
The intention is to put the sole focus of the viewers attention on the tournament and not dwell on last year's drama.