Williams confronts umpire during controversial US Open final (file photo credit: Getty Images)

The governing body of women’s tennis, WTA, has backed Serena Williams’ claims of sexism in a stormy 2018 US Open final.

According to the body’s chief executive Steve Simon, the chair umpire, Carlos Ramos, would have been more tolerant if Williams had been a man.

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The tennis great got a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and a game penalty for calling the umpire a “thief” in the defeat to Naomi Osaka.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion could not hold back her tears during an argument with the umpire.

Williams later said it was “sexist” to have been penalised.

And in a statement, Simon said: “The WTA believes that there should be no difference in the standards of tolerance provided to the emotions expressed by men versus women.

“We do not believe that this was done last night.”

Simon also called for coaching to be allowed “across the sport”.

On her part, Katrina Adams, the head of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), which organises the US Open, said men “are badgering the umpire on the changeovers and nothing happens.”

“We watch the guys do this all the time.

“There’s no equality when it comes to what the men are doing to the chair umpires and what the women are doing, and I think there has to be some consistency across the board.

“I’m all about gender equality and I think when you look at that situation these are conversations that will be imposed in the next weeks. We have to treat each other fairly and the same,” she added.