Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Naomi Osaka close to signing historic deal with Adidas

Umpires reportedly considering Boycott of Serena Williams Matches Naomi Osaka close to signing historic deal with Adidas
Chelsea Rogers | 14 September, 2018, 15:00

Naomi Osaka has been thrust into the media spotlight since she beat Serena Williams in straight sets at the US Open on Saturday, becoming Japan's first tennis player to win a Grand Slam title.

The 20-year-old kept her focus amid opponent Serena Williams' controversial clash with umpire Carlos Ramos to win 6-2 6-4.

While tennis legend Billy Jean King backed Williams" accusation insisting there was a "double standard', many have condemned the 23-time Grand Slam victor for losing her temper. Navratilova said, "It wasn't the right time to bring it up", and that she would have expected to face similar penalties for acting as Williams did.

With the new deal, reports suggest Osaka could climb the Forbes ladder to become the second-highest paid player of 2018, ahead of Caroline Wozniacki but just behind Williams, but she will have to go some way to matching the all-time tennis great.

However, the world's third-ranked men's player does not necessarily agree with the assessments of Williams and WTA chief executive Steve Simon that umpires treat women players differently from men. Williams received warnings for receiving coaching and breaking a racket, before she was docked a game for calling Ramos a "thief".

The shy Osaka tweeted about the video on Thursday: "I always knew this would come back to haunt me". Viewers could not have guessed that she won by looking at her crestfallen, teary-eyed expression throughout the immediate aftermath of the match.

"There is a lot of unhappiness in the umpiring community because no one is standing up for officials", the source told The Guardian.

Serena Williams row: Tennis umpires mulling boycott of matches involving American star
He has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the United States and host Croatia later this week. Once renewed, she can be part of Forbes' list of highest-paid women in sports, possibly placing second-just below Serena.

"For now, I'm just sort of riding the wave".

But Ramos has finally broken his silence regarding the backlash, speaking to Portugal's Tribuna Expresso.

The chair umpire at the centre of the saga has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is "fine".

Australian former umpire Richard Ings also reported feelings of unrest.

"I'm fine, given the circumstances", he told the publication.

"It's a delicate situation, but umpiring "a la carte" doesn't exist". "They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos. Don't worry about me". Even the International Tennis Federation (ITF), which stood by the judges, waited 48 hours before announcing a position.

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