Ramos first issued a warning to Williams after ruling that her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, gave her hand signals that Ramos said constituted illegal coaching. Williams denied the accusation and could be heard repeatedly demanding an apology from Ramos.
Williams approached the net and told the umpire, “I don’t cheat. I’d rather lose. Every time I play here, I have problems.”
The 23-time Grand Slam champ didn’t elaborate on the previous incidents, but in 2009 she was docked a point after she was deemed verbally abusive to a lineswoman. In 2011, Williams’ opponent Sam Stosur was awarded a key point, and thus the game, when an umpire ruled Williams yelling, “Come on,” had hindered Stosur before she made contact with the ball.
Later in Saturday’s match, Ramos docked Williams a point after she smashed her racket upon misplaying a shot. Ramos then issued Williams a full game penalty after she called him a “thief,” saying the comment amounted to verbal abuse.
“You stole a point from me, and you are a thief,” Williams told him.
It was a case she also was heard making to tournament referee Brian Earley and supervisor Donna Kelso, who Williams summoned to the court after Ramos penalized her.
“There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman, you’re going to take this away from me?” Williams said. “That is not right.”
“I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark,” she said. “He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.'”
The US Open, in a statement, said Ramos’ decision was not reviewable, while the Women’s Tennis Association released a statement saying that Williams “plays with class.”
“There are matters that need to be looked into that took place during the match,” it said.