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Umpire who chaired dramatic 2018 US Open won't officiate any Serena Williams matches this year

Organisers of the 2019 US Open approaches have confirmed the umpire who was in charge of last year's dramatic women's singles final will not officiate any of Serena Williams' matches this year.

Williams made headlines last year in her match with Naomi Osaka after pointing her index finger at chair umpire Carlos Ramos while insisting that he owed her an apology after they clashed during the women's final.

The feeling in that match between Williams and Osaka — whose terrific performance during a 6-2, 6-4 victory largely was ignored amid the chaos that enveloped Arthur Ashe Stadium that day — shifted after Ramos warned Williams for receiving a coaching signal from the stands.

Naomi Osaka, of Japan, reacts after winning a point against Serena Williams during the women's final of the U.S. Open Source: Associated Press

The final devolved from there and Williams — who then was, and currently is, seeking a 24th Grand Slam singles trophy — eventually was docked a point and, later, a game. Aafterward, she was fined $17,000.

Almost a full 12 months later, with first-round play beginning next week at Flushing Meadows, the ramifications of that 1-hour, 19-minute contest still reverberate, including the decision that Ramos will not officiate matches involving Serena Williams or her older sister, Venus.

"We've decided that there are over 900 other matches and Carlos, for 2019, will not be in the chair for a Williams sisters match," US Tennis Association executive Stacey Allaster told the Associated Press in an interview.

"We want the attention of the competition to be on the athletes."

Among the key story lines that carry over: Williams, who announced earlier this week she would be returning to Auckland for next year's ASB Classic, is trying to equal Margaret Court's mark for most major singles championships.

Osaka, who added her second Slam title at the Australian Open in January, returns to New York ranked No. 1 but is dealing with knee discomfort that forced her withdrawal from a tuneup tournament last week.

Serena Williams, right, talks with referee Brian Earley during the women's final of the U.S. Open Source: Associated Press


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