Carlos Ramos — the villain of the moment, according to Serena Williams’ supporters — can also be looked at as the man who stood his ground in the face of a tirade from arguably one of the best tennis players in history.

The Portuguese tennis umpire was one of the protagonists of the row that took place during the 2018 US Open women’s singles final, the other being Williams, who lost the plot after she was docked a game after falling foul of the code violations on three occasions.

The American called Ramos “a liar and a thief” after he docked her a point after two violations, first for being coached and the second for smashing a racket on the court. Williams would not stop her barrage of abuse, which then resulted in a third violation that mandates a game being docked.

Williams, who lost the match 6-2, 6-4 to Japan’s Naomi Osaka, would go on to label the umpire’s actions as sexist, suggesting male tennis players get away with far worse on the court. Her claims were then backed by tennis legend Billie Jean King, the president of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Katrina Adams and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

“We watch the guys do this all the time, they’re badgering the umpire on the changeovers. Nothing happens. There’s no equality,” Adams said in the aftermath of the incident. “There has to be some consistency across the board. These are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks.”

It was all not one sided, as there was equal support for the umpire, who many feel followed the rules and meted out the punishment deserving of Williams’ behavior on the night. Ramos has finally broken his silence on the matter and indicated he is “fine” given the circumstances.

Serena Williams
Carlos Ramos (L) gave Serena Williams (R) three code violations during the US Open women's singles final. In this picture, Williams of the United States argues with umpire Ramos during her Women's Singles finals match against Naomi Osaka of Japan on Day Thirteen of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City, Sept. 8, 2018. Alex Pantling/Getty Images

“I'm fine, given the circumstances," Ramos told Portugal's Tribuna Expresso on Tuesday. "It's a delicate situation, but 'a la carte' arbitration does not exist. Do not worry about me!"

The Portuguese official also received backing from the International Tennis Federation and will get back on the chair later this week when the United States take on Croatia in the Davis Cup.

The reaction of the WTA and the president of the USTA saw reports emerge Tuesday a number of referees were considering boycotting matches that involved the 23-time women’s singles Grand Slam champion.

And Richard Ings, a retired, Gold Badge umpire, revealed the umpiring fraternity was feeling let down by the WTA, and they were all wondering if they could face the same criticism if they make decisions that were unpopular with the players and the public.

"The umpiring fraternity is thoroughly disturbed at being abandoned by the WTA," Ings told on Tuesday. "They are all fearful that they could be the next Ramos. They feel that no one has their back when they have to make unpopular calls."

"Umpires are just upset," the retired umpire added. "They're thinking, 'What if?'"