Soeren Friemel, one of the world’s top tennis officials, has been named US Open tournament referee, replacing recently retired Brian Earley, who had served in the role for the past 26 years.
In a corresponding move, former Gold Badge chair umpire Jake Garner will take over for Friemel as chief umpire for the tournament.
Friemel, who served as the chief umpire at the US Open from 2016-18, will remain in his position as head of officiating for the ITF, a position he has held since 2014.
"We are incredibly fortunate to have Soeren and Jake serve in these two roles at the US Open," said US Open Tournament Director David Brewer. "Their combined experience and expertise will ensure that the US Open is officiated at the highest level of professionalism and integrity."
As tournament referee, Friemel will ensure that the US Open is conducted fairly and in accordance with all of the written rules, regulations and procedures. Friemel will act as the final authority on all officiating matters arising during the US Open and handle myriad responsibilities for the event, including the approval of the assignments and overseeing the evaluation process of all chair umpires and line umpires.
Throughout his career, Friemel has worked at the highest levels of tennis officiating. A Gold Badge-certified umpire and referee, Friemel has been a Grand Slam supervisor since 2001. In addition, he has served as referee at numerous ATP and WTA tournaments, has been the referee at a Fed Cup final and three Davis Cup finals and was a member of the referees’ team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
As chief umpire, Garner will be responsible for the selecting and training of the over 300 officials at the US Open. Among his other responsibilities, he will schedule the on-court assignments for officials throughout the tournament, subject to the approval of the tournament referee and in consultation with the Grand Slam chief of supervisors.
Garner holds the position of senior manager, professional pathway, officiating for the USTA. He had a decorated career as a chair umpire, in which he has chaired 18 Grand Slam finals, four Davis Cup finals, a Fed Cup final and the men’s gold-medal match at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The main draw of the 2019 US Open will be held Monday, Aug. 26, to Sunday, Sept. 8, with US Open Fan Week, including the US Open Qualifying Tournament, beginning the previous week on Tuesday, Aug. 20.