Love them or hate them, tennis umpires are a part of the game. While most people don’t pay any attention to them unless there’s controversy, there is such a thing as the best tennis umpires in the world.
They are usually the ones that people don’t know too much about, because they stay out of the limelight and don’t have much controversy surrounding them.
Currently, these are the ten best umpires in the world. If they are on the call for a match, consider it a good chance of a fair match. Ultimately, everyone involved is always hoping for this to be the case.
10. Marija Čičak
- Country: Croatia
Marija Čičak was rewarded for her 10 years of gold badge umpiring by becoming the first woman ever to officiate a men’s singles final at Wimbledon in 2021.
It is just the latest in a number of big matches for the Croatian. Two other big-time matches in her career also happened on the grass courts in London, calling the 2014 women’s singles final, and the 2018 men’s single final that turned out to be the second longest pro tennis match ever.
One of the more seasoned veterans now on tour, Čičak has an even demeanor during most matches. She is one of four females to make the list.
9. Carlos Bernardes
- Country: Brazil
Currently one of the longest-tenured umpires in the game, Carlos Bernardes has played a big role in several important matches. Most notably, he officiated the 2006 and 2008 US Open men’s singles finals to really emerge as one of the top umpires in the game.
The Brazilian has a bit of a distinctive voice that many fans pick up on every time he takes the chair. There are bound to be some controversies for any umpire with over 30 years of experience, but he continues to be a strong option on tour and in major events.
8. Marijana Veljović
- Country: Serbia
A relative newcomer to the top ranks, Marijana Veljović broke through in 2018 by getting the opportunity to call the women’s singles final at the Australian Open.
She then was awarded the opportunity to do the 2019 Wimbledon Championships women’s singles final. Viewed as a bit of an up-and-comer, there’s a chance that she moves on this list in the next few years.
What makes her solid is that she is willing to work with players as much as possible to find a solution to any mild controversy. She’s able to figure out when things seem to be getting a little testy. Instead of letting it turn into something bad, she handles business accordingly.
7. Adel Nour
Adel Nour 🇪🇬 managed to do it before pic.twitter.com/cRfs6jMD3H— Ahmed Abdelaal (@ahmedfederer) January 28, 2020
- Country: Egypt
Earning gold badge status in 2018, Adel Nour has shown that he has a chance to be a mainstay on tour for years to come. Although a few controversies have found him already, he’s been able to do consistent work in the chair.
There is high hope that he will be one of the top umpires in the game of tennis once the generation before him starts to call it quits.
6. Alison Hughes
- Country: United Kingdom
Allison Hughes has had a very accomplished career as a tennis umpire. In fact, she was recently appointed a member of the Order of the British Empire thanks to her services to tennis.
She’s one of only two people in the history of the sport to umpire a singles finals match at all four Grand Slam tournaments, and is known for being consistent and fair with all players.
Arguments with Hughes have been few and far between as an umpire on both tours. She’s been able to stay out of quite a bit of controversy, which is seen as a huge positive in the umpire world.
5. Kader Nouni
- Country: France
The most notable thing about Kader Nouni is that he is known for having a very distinctive, quality voice. Most fans will know right away when he is in the chair, just by hearing him call the game score.
As for his calls, they are known for being consistent and fair. He is one of the easiest umpires in the sport to get along with, which helps keep tempers at ease. Nouni has the ability to also get stern when needed.
4. James Keothavong
- Country: United Kingdom
The England native has been in the chair of Grand Slam singles finals multiple times, and is known for having a pretty calm demeanor in the toughest of situations. The brother of former WTA pro Anne Keothavong, he keeps his name out of controversy, which is always viewed as a major positive in this line of work.
Keothavong is so consistent that a lot of fans might not even know his name, but they recognize his face when he’s calling a match.
3. Eva Asderaki-Moore
- Country: Greece
Still relatively young as an umpire, Eva Asderaki-Moore is one of the most consistent in the game. She is constantly overlooking big matches at Grand Slam tournaments, and she has broken many barriers as a woman umpire for the men’s game.
She made history at the US Open in 2015, as she was the first woman to umpire a men’s final there. Her ability to solve disagreements quickly has solidified her reputation in a lot of ways.
Eva was even calling big tennis matches while pregnant a few years ago, unafraid to jump out of the chair to get a closer look at tough balls.
2. Carlos Ramos
- Country: Portugal
Portuguese umpire Carlos Ramos has been a gold badge chair umpire for a while, and it has paid off with plenty of opportunities to call extremely important matches.
He is one of only two people ever to call a singles final match at all four Grand Slams, and he continually grades as one of the most accurate umpires on tour as well.
His first singles final at a Grand Slam came in 2005, as he looked over the Australian Open final between Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt. In total, he has called 10 Grand Slam finals matches in his career, with more on the way.
Some people don’t like that he is somewhat quick to hand out violations or penalties, but others enjoy his ability to keep the game under control. As one of the most seasoned umpires in tennis right now, many up-and-comers are looking at him for advice.
1. Mohamed Lahyani
- Country: Sweden
It’s always extremely difficult to determine the best umpire in any sport, since there will always be some mild controversies here and there.
However, it seems like one of the most universally liked umpires in the game right now is Mohamed Lahyani. The Swedish ATP umpire has evolved into someone who is very consistent and fair, with very limited controversies.
He has called singles finals in major tournaments, but perhaps the most normal match he’s ever called was the longest match in pro tennis history. When John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played for over 11 hours, he was the umpire in the seat throughout those three days.