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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Serena Williams tells off chair umpire: ‘I don’t cheat to win’

Serena Williams umpire

Serena Williams told off the chair umpire during her match against Naomi Osaka in the finals of the US Open on Saturday.

Williams received a coaching violation during the second game of the second set after being given a hand signal from a member of her box. Williams was not happy with the violation and approached Carlos Ramos to set him straight.

“If he gives me a thumbs up, he’s telling me to come on,” Williams said. “We don’t have any code. I know you don’t know that. I understand why you may have thought that was coaching. But I’m telling you it’s not. I don’t cheat to win; I’d rather lose. I’m just letting you know.”

As awesome as Williams’ response was and as great as her stated attitude about cheating is, her actions are unsportsmanlike. One of the chair umpire’s jobs is to monitor for potential coaching violations. A hand signal could be a sign to tell a player about a particular strategy. Williams is trying to tell an umpire how to do his job and intimidate him into not calling anything against her in the future. That’s the sort of behavior that would result in a technical foul call in basketball or an unsportsmanlike conduct in football.

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