U.S. Open Officiating a Year Later: More Explanations for the Audience

The changes came after the two-day conference, which was held on the U.S.T.A.’s national campus in Orlando. The gathering included top officials from Grand Slam events, the men’s and women’s tours, and International Tennis Federation. Some of the guests arrived with skepticism, fear that this was a mere public-relations exercise, but most delegates left with the sense that it had been genuinely constructive.

The WTA chief executive, Steve Simon, supports the move toward posting code violations, but Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a tour veteran who is a member of the player council, sees a negative side.

“There are so many things we can focus on in tennis that would be more advantageous to get fans involved,” she said. “I understand it comes down to an extreme circumstance, with what happened with Serena last year, and on top of that, fans don’t know what the rules are. But just to focus on the scoreboard, I think there’s other things we could probably accentuate.”

The tournament also has a new officiating team with Sören Friemel replacing Brian Earley as tournament referee. Earley’s retirement, announced in advance of last year’s Open, was not related to the controversy during the women’s final.

Jake Garner, a longtime chair umpire, has taken over for Friemel as chief umpire.

The U.S.T.A. seriously considered allowing limited news media access to chair umpires, but that idea has been abandoned for now. As a rule, chair umpires are not permitted to speak publicly about the matches they officiate.

The U.S.T.A. also introduced a video assistant review system this year to allow Friemel, Garner and their team to track play on all 17 match courts in real time with a focus on umpires’ rulings and interaction with players.

The system will not be used to overrule officiating decisions, but it will allow the Open to react more nimbly and serve as a post-match education tool for umpires.