Game, set and match for Miss and Mrs at Wimbledon

2019-07-01 18:09
Wimbledon gates (File)

London - Wimbledon umpires are no longer using women's marital status at the end of each game and match, bringing the use of prefixes in line with the men's competition.

"Game, Miss..." or "Game, set and match, Mrs..." have been a traditional part of the Wimbledon soundscape stretching back throughout the decades.

However, all that came to an end on Monday as the 2019 Championships got under way.

"The only change is to remove the use of prefixes when announcing the score at the end of each game and at the end of each match," an All England Club spokeswoman told AFP.

Prefixes will continue to be used for code violations, medical announcements and player challenges, as they are for women's and men's matches throughout the tennis tour.

As before, prefixes are not used for pre-match announcements, during the warm-up or prior to the first point.

The women's honours board is staying the same, so underneath "2018 Miss A. Kerber", the 2019 entry will still read Miss or Mrs for this year's women's champion.

"It's just being consistent with what is done for the men's matches," a spokeswoman said.

Prefixes do not appear on the courtside scoreboard.

A spokeswoman for the International Tennis Federation said: "There is nothing specific in the Grand Slam rulebook about how to address female players -- it is a decision for each individual Grand Slam.

"As far as I am aware, only Wimbledon previously prefixed a female player's surname and they are now in line with the other Slams."

Men's world number one Novak Djokovic said he was surprised by the change -- particularly at the most traditional of the sport's four majors.

"I don't know how I feel about it," the Wimbledon reigning champion said.

"I thought that tradition was very unique and very special. I thought it was nice. What is the reason for that?

"Was there a complaint from the men's side for that?"

The Serb said he did not mind whether or not he was called Mister on court and supported the move if it was being made in the name of equality.

"Sure, if that is the reason, then why not? I support that. It's definitely not easy to alter or change any traditions here that have been present for many years. It's quite surprising that they've done that," he said.

US number three Madison Keys said tennis was in a good place when it came to equality.

"I'm obviously happy with the sense of we're "the" most equal women's sport. I definitely think that we can still become more equal and we can level that out," the 16th seed said.

"But I think we have a pretty good footing right now and I think we definitely have a lot of opportunity to grow."

British number two Heather Watson welcomed the move but said it had not registered during her victory over Caty McNally of the United States.

"Equality is always good. I didn't even notice out there," she said.

Read more on:    wimbledon 2019  |  tennis


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