‘Don’t worry about me,’ says umpire who penalised Serena Williams

Lisbon - The chair umpire who penalised Serena Williams in the US Open final has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is "fine." 

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Carlos 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 (ITF) has defended Ramos for his actions during the final. The US Open fined Williams $17 000 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 semi-final matches between the United States and Croatia, a best-of-five series which begins on Friday and ends on Sunday in Zadar, Croatia.