Umpires to boycott Serena Williams matches

the watchman

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Jul 2011
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#31
Two points:

(1) It's quite possible for her to have been penalized beyond the norm but for perfectly acceptable reasons. If this particular official just runs a tighter ship than most, such that he issues official warnings the first time he catches someone cheating, rather than "soft warnings," is that really a problem? If players know that he's a no-nonsense umpire, and he's consistent about it as between the players, that's just another aspect of the mental game that players need to prepare for. If we tolerate any variation in standards from one umpire to the next, that means, by definition, that sometimes players will be penalized beyond the norm. And if we're not going to tolerate any variation, wouldn't it be better to change the rules, instead of expecting every umpire to make the exact same judgment call about which rules to bend for which players?

(2) I still haven't seen a demonstration that this was "beyond the norm." Which particular call was beyond the norm, and what evidence is there that the norm is different? That should be possible to show statistically. For example, if the norm is that players caught cheating, the way Williams was, first get a "soft warning," and only get an official warning the second time they're caught, then it should be possible to quote how many 'code violation' warnings for coaching came after an initial soft warning, versus how many weren't preceded by a soft warning. I haven't seen that. I have seen a number of stories about players getting code violations for coaching, but none of them mentioned having first gotten a soft warning.
she wasn't caught cheating. Why do you keep saying that? And, if all you'll accepted is pure empirical statistical evidence about tennis penalties I suggest you look it up yourself. That's an absurdity you can explore on your own time.
 
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#32
she wasn't caught cheating. Why do you keep saying that?
I say it because she was caught cheating. Her coach was coaching her with hand signals, which is against the rules. She was watching him do so. She was looking to have an illegal edge over her opponent, by way of getting insights from the stands in a way that's against the rules for the event. That's cheating. Her coach has come right out and admitted he was doing it. Now, I suppose, you could argue that her coach's cheating failed -- that even though he presumably saw her looking his way when he decided to give his illegal hand signals, she actually was looking at someone else in his vicinity and failed to take the intended cues. But since the rules make her accountable for the cheating of her coach, that's a distinction without a difference for purposes of this discussion.

And, if all you'll accepted is pure empirical statistical evidence about tennis penalties I suggest you look it up yourself.
I tried. I couldn't find any support for the claim. Yet there are some who have asserted it's true. I'm asking what their basis for that assertion is.
 

the watchman

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#33
I say it because she was caught cheating. Her coach was coaching her with hand signals, which is against the rules. She was watching him do so. She was looking to have an illegal edge over her opponent, by way of getting insights from the stands in a way that's against the rules for the event. That's cheating. Her coach has come right out and admitted he was doing it. Now, I suppose, you could argue that her coach's cheating failed -- that even though he presumably saw her looking his way when he decided to give his illegal hand signals, she actually was looking at someone else in his vicinity and failed to take the intended cues. But since the rules make her accountable for the cheating of her coach, that's a distinction without a difference for purposes of this discussion.



I tried. I couldn't find any support for the claim. Yet there are some who have asserted it's true. I'm asking what their basis for that assertion is.
no. She said plainly that they don't have hand signals. Why would they if that's against the rules? That's why she was so upset. She felt that she was accused of cheating when she wasn't. What "hand signal" is it exactly that you think he was giving her? What evidence do you have that it actually was a "hand signal" , otherwise? If it's against the rules and they both know that , why would he be so obvious about it? If they were going to cheat wouldn't they use a signal that couldn't be so easily seen?
 

The Man

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Jul 2011
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#34
Patrick Mouratoglou admitted to coaching Serena Williams during the U.S. Open final, but believes she never received his message.

The 23-time grand slam champion suffered a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka in a contentious decider in New York on Saturday.

However, the final was overshadowed by Williams receiving three code violations – coaching, racket abuse and verbal abuse – and eventually a game penalty on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Mouratoglou said he had attempted to help Williams, but added coaching was common in almost every match.

"I'm honest, I was coaching. I don't think she looked at me so that's why she didn't even think I was," he told ESPN.

"But I was, like 100 percent of the coaches in 100 percent of the matches so we have to stop this hypocritical thing. Sascha (Bajin, Osaka's coach) was coaching every point, too.

"It's strange that this chair umpire (Carlos Ramos) was the chair umpire of most of the finals of Rafa (Nadal) and (his uncle) Toni's coaching every single point and he never gave a warning so I don't really get it."
More: U.S. Open 2018: Patrick Mouratoglou admits to coaching Serena Williams during final

Huh... So, Nadal and others got away with it, according to this, and Serena didn't... That is a bit more complicated than I originally thought.
 
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#35
no. She said plainly that they don't have hand signals.
She's lying. Her own coach has admitted to what he was doing, and it was caught on camera. Since the bulk of her money comes in endorsements, tied to her image as a role model, getting caught cheating is expensive for her, so she has tried to deny it. But her coach let the cat out of the bag.

Why would they if that's against the rules?
You're basically asking why an ultra-competitive athlete would break a sport's rules to get an edge in the competition. Ask Lance Armstrong. Ask Barry Bonds. Ask Bill Belichick. Ask every lineman who has ever popped a forbidden pill, every pitcher who has ever spit on a ball, every basketball player who has taken an extra step to the rim. Ask the other two players who got code violations for coaching during that very tournament.

She felt that she was accused of cheating when she wasn't.
She was upset that her cheating was publicized.

What "hand signal" is it exactly that you think he was giving her?
He gave her an upward signal to move to the net.

What evidence do you have that it actually was a "hand signal" , otherwise?
He admitted he was coaching from the stands.

If it's against the rules and they both know that , why would he be so obvious about it?
He wasn't. He tried to be subtle. The way the coaches do it is to only signal when they think their player is looking and the umpire isn't. Usually they get away with it. Once in a while they screw up. But it's generally seen as being worth the risk if you don't have any code violations, since the first one is basically a freebie -- you just get a warning. That's why Williams initially reacted calmly to it -- it's just not considered a huge deal to get a warning in tennis. She only started yelling and personally insulting him later, after she'd started playing poorly and smashed her racket, and suddenly that earlier code violation was the difference between only being warned about the racket and having a point deducted. THEN she lost it.
 
Sep 2017
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#37
More: U.S. Open 2018: Patrick Mouratoglou admits to coaching Serena Williams during final

Huh... So, Nadal and others got away with it, according to this, and Serena didn't... That is a bit more complicated than I originally thought.
Most people get away with it. Sometimes it gets called. It was called on two other players in the same tournament. It's a bit like taking an extra half-step without dribbling in the NBA -- chances are you'll get away with it, but sometimes you won't, and technically it's against the rules. NFL contact after the whistle is similar -- you could find examples of people initiating contact after the whistle on most every play in football, and if it's away from the ball and not too hard, you probably will get away with it.... but once in a while a ref will see it and decide to make a point.
 
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#40
I don't think it's the severity of what she said, but rather the persistence. If you watch the actual video of her tirade, you'll see just how long he sits patiently absorbing her abuse without doing anything.

See here:


At 2:11 she loses it and busts her racket. At 2:38 she starts complaining to the ump, saying that it's "unbelievable" that he would give her a point penalty for that. At 2:49 she starts yelling. At around 2:55 she commands him to make an announcement that she didn't get coaching. At 3:04 she insists he owes her an apology. At 3:07 she starts screaming. At 3:18 she steps away. At that point, she'd been complaining for the better part of a minute, including demanding an apology and yelling at him, but there was no penalty for the abuse. He took it all patiently. That makes sense -- he knew she was upset the point penalty for busting up her racket, he let her vent without penalty, and presumably expected that she was a professional and would get herself under control after that and move on.

But then, at 3:48, she's back at it, yelling at him, with no further provocation. She accuses him of attacking her character (for having penalized her for her coach's admitted cheating), and again she demanded an apology. At 4 minutes she threatened him, with the insistence than he'd never be allowed to officiate another one of her matches. AT 4:08 she calls him a liar. Still no penalty. At 4:20, she's still yelling at him, demanding that he apologize to her. When he quietly refused, she ordered him not to talk to her. Still no penalty. In fact, he just quietly complied with her demand that she not talk to him, just looking ahead calmly. At 4:39 she's still going, demanding that this man (who she has just commanded not to talk to her) tell her how he dares to insinuate that she was cheating. Still no penalty. Still, he sat there calmly, absorbing the abuse, without even daring to talk back to her to defend himself. At 5:02, she finally cross the line, saying that he was a thief. Only then did he give her the code violation.

By that point, she'd basically been ranting at him during three different episodes, the last of which lasted for well over a minute. She got away with all that without penalty. Then she escalated it by calling him a thief. I think if she'd opened with that, way back at 2:49, and then stepped away and calmed down and acted like a professional, she'd never have had a penalty for it. But coming back at him over and over the way she did, after he gave her every chance to get her wits about her, probably told him that he needed to take an active step to regain some state of professionalism in the match... she wasn't going to get herself under control.
 

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