Johanna Konta has publicly offered her backing to umpire Carlos Ramos after the controversial US Open final and criticised Serena Williams for bringing sexism into the argument.
While many players have shied away from pointing the finger of blame at the American, Konta was forthright in her approach when questioned on the incident at the Oxford Union this week.
In what was the most controversial incident in tennis in 2018, Williams branded Ramos a liar and a sexist as she went down 6-2 6-4 to Japans first Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.
But while Williams continues to defend herself, Konta rejected the notion that sexism was at play.
Im all for equal rights but I dont necessarily always agree when you dont like something, you brush it onto the inequality carpet and say because Im a woman I didnt get this, the British No. 1 said.
I dont necessarily always agree with that approach. I think if you would look at this umpires history and that were to stand out, then yeah there is an argument to that.
But I think they took the stats specifically for the US Open and the men actually got significantly more code violations than the women.
The umpire was right, Patrick Mouratoglou was coaching, he said so. He gave a coaching violation. I think that has to be taken separately to then what happened after.
Though Konta had some sympathy with Williams due to the emotionally-charged nature of a Grand Slam final, she pointed to Ramos umpiring record – where he has penalised other household male names such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal – as further evidence that he was not acting in a sexist manner.
One thing that is 100% certain is that emotions are always incredibly high in a match, and I would imagine definitely more so in a Grand Slam final, she continued.
Everybody is human, including Serena Williams, and I think the US Open just brings that out of her. She has been disqualified once before at the same event, so bless her. I think she feels the stress there, thats for sure.
However, I think youve also then got to look at the umpire. That specific umpire is a stickler for the rules. He gave coaching violations to Djokovic and to Nadal in different Slams.
I dont believe that was a sexist issue personally. I believe it was emotions running high and things just snowballing. Thats what I believe… dont hate me, Serena.
While Konta may believe the 37-year-old American was wrong to point the finger of blame on this occasion, she did praise the 23-time Grand Slam champion for her efforts in the fight for equality.
One thing you cannot take away from Serena is how passionate she is about womens rights, added Konta.
It is because of people like her and Billie Jean King that conversations are started, topics are put in the forefront and change can be made.