US Open chair umpire Carlos Ramos says he is 'fine'

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos, left, talks with referee Brian Earley as Serena Williams talks with Donna Kelso during the women's final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament against Naomi Osaka, of Japan, Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

LISBON, Portugal — The chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is "fine."

Ramos, who is from Portugal, spoke briefly to Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso this week.

"I'm fine, given the circumstances," Ramos said, according to the newspaper. "It's a delicate situation, but umpiring 'a la carte' doesn't exist. Don't worry about me."

The newspaper said Ramos received hundreds of messages of support from family, colleagues, players and former players. He said he has avoided social media and only reads "balanced" articles about the incident. He also refrained from going out the day after the final to avoid problems, according to the report.

The International Tennis Federation has defended Ramos for his actions during the final. The U.S. Open fined Williams for her three code violations.

The WTA later called for equal treatment of all tennis players and coaching to be allowed across the sport.

Ramos has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the United States and Croatia, a best-of-five series which begins Friday and ends Sunday in Zadar, Croatia.

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