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Ump from ’18 final won’t get Williams matches

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos will not officiate matches involving Serena Williams or her older sister, Venus, at this year’s US Open following the confrontation that overshadowed last year’s final.

“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,” U.S. Tennis Association executive Stacey Allaster told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “We want the attention of the competition to be on the athletes.”

Williams clashed with Ramos during her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka during the 2018 US Open final.

Ramos warned Williams for receiving a coaching signal from the stands before giving her a point penalty for breaking her racket and a game penalty for verbal abuse after she called him a “thief.”

The conflict led to ongoing discussions and debates about such matters as the proper role of chair umpires, the way the code of conduct is constructed and whether in-match coaching should be permitted everywhere.

Serena Williams, also the runner-up at Wimbledon each of the past two years, is trying to equal Margaret Court’s mark for most major singles championships at 24.

First-round play at the US Open begins Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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