Getty Images

Serena Williams on chair umpire Carlos Ramos: ‘I don’t know who that is’

Leave a comment

NEW YORK — Serena Williams had a terse response when asked her thoughts on chair umpire Carlos Ramos not being assigned to any of her U.S. Open matches this year.

“Yeah, I don’t know who that is,” she said after crushing Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-1 on Monday in her first U.S. Open match since last year’s controversial final loss to Naomi Osaka.

In that 2018 defeat, Williams was given three code violations by Ramos, which resulted in a game penalty deep in the decisive set.

The violations were for illegal coaching from her box, which Williams denied receiving (though it was her coach’s intent); smashing her racket and, finally, verbal abuse for calling Ramos “a thief” over the first violation.

After the match, Williams pointed up to Ramos and said, “You owe me an apology.”

“For me to say ‘thief,’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark,” Williams said later. “He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’”

Williams was fined $17,000 the next day. Williams revealed earlier this summer that she later sent Osaka an apology for her behavior.

The U.S. Tennis Association decided to preemptively say that Ramos would not work any matches involving Williams or older sister Venus to keep the attention on the players.

Williams was asked if last year’s final entered her mind during Monday’s match. She answered not by mentioning 2018 specifically, but by noting the Ashe Stadium crowd.

“I’ve had a lot of tough losses here for whatever reason,” she said. “To walk back out here and hear everyone support me, from all the ups and downs, is super amazing.”

U.S. OPEN DRAWS: Men | Women

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Boglarka Kapas, world champion swimmer, tests positive for coronavirus

Boglarka Kapas
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Boglarka Kapas, the Hungarian swimmer and world 200m butterfly champion, said she tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I don’t have any symptoms yet, and that’s why it’s important for you to know that even if you feel healthy you can spread the virus,” was posted on her social media. “Please be careful, stay at home and stay healthy.”

Nine total members of the Hungarian national team — including swimmers and staff — have tested positive, according to the federation.

Kapas said her first test was negative but a second test showed she had the virus. She was staying in quarantine at home for two weeks.

Kapas, 26, won the 200m fly at last summer’s world championships by passing Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot in the last 25 meters. She clocked 2:06.78 to prevail by .17 of a second.

Kapas also took bronze in the Rio Olympic 800m freestyle won by Katie Ledecky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NHL players: Marie-Philip Poulin is world’s best female hockey player

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. may have the world’s best women’s hockey team, but NHL players believe Canadian Marie-Philip Poulin is the world’s best player.

Poulin received the most votes out of 496 responses in the 2019-20 NHLPA Player Poll, conducted before the season was suspended. The tally:

Poulin: 39.92%
Hilary Knight (USA): 36.29%
Kendall Coyne Schofield (USA): 15.52%
Emily Pfalzer Matheson (USA): 1.41%
Other: 6.85%

Last year, Knight received the highest percentage of votes from 203 NHL players (27.59), edging Poulin (24.14) with Amanda Kessel third (12.81) and Coyne Schofield and Pfalzer Matheson each receiving 5.91 percent.

Why were Poulin and Knight swapped this year? Perhaps Poulin’s Canadian team winning the debut of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition women’s 3-on-3 game on Jan. 24, even though Knight scored and Poulin did not.

Poulin, now 29, scored both goals in the 2010 Olympic final and the game-tying and -winning goals in the 2014 Olympic final. Even before her Olympic debut at age 18, the daughter of Quebec hospital workers was dubbed “the female Sidney Crosby.”

Knight, 30, led last April’s world championship tournament with seven goals as the U.S. won a fifth straight title. Poulin played 4 minutes, 44 seconds, total at the tournament, missing time with a knee injury.

This spring’s tournament, which was to start Tuesday, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Winter Olympic sports season produced pain, stories to track for 2022