US Open officials alter protocols to inform fans

Ross Houston
August 25, 2019

Serena Williams has been paired with Maria Sharapova in an eye-catching US Open first round encounter.

But Osaka, who will begin her NY campaign against Russian Anna Blinkova, said she felt comfortable returning to the scene where she claimed her first career Grand Slam. Ramos, the USTA announced, will not govern a Williams match during the fortnight for this year's US Open.

"Chair umpire Carlos Ramos, in line with the Grand Slam rule book, warned Williams for a coaching violation during last year's showpiece with Japan's Naomi Osaka before deducting a point and later a game for her behaviour, which included a smashed racket and calling him a "liar" and thief".

Big-serving 24-year-old American Madison Keys, who reached the U.S. Open final in 2017 and won the Cincinnati Open on Sunday, is playing with more maturity, which makes her even more unsafe, Evert said.

Williams, 37, hopes to win a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.

No. 8 seed Williams has a leg up on Sharapova, with a 19-2 record in the pair's WTA rivalry.

American teenager Cori Gauff, who stormed to the fourth round at Wimbledon, has been awarded a wild card for the event and takes on Anastasia Potapova.

Monday's day session begins with reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty, the second seed from Australia, facing Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Tuesday's participants in Ashe include Osaka and two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem during the afternoon, with 18-time major title victor Rafael Nadal and 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in action at night. It was the second Grand Slam title for Halep, who won the 2018 French Open. The most recent match between these two players was 2016 at the Australian Open where Serena Williams won in straight sets.

"I never really say that I don't like an umpire so I never change that, " Osaka said.

That is the view of former world number one Chris Evert who said on Friday that without a dominant force it is the depth of the women's game that should be celebrated.

US Open officials have made some changes in the officiating protocols for the upcoming US Open in an attempt to better inform fans about decisions made on court - a review stimulated partly by the officiating controversy that marred the US Open women's final a year ago.

"I am a little anxious about her fitness if she's going to keep getting injured but I love her game", said Evert.

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