Wimbledon 2019: Female players no longer referred to by marital status in attempt at fair play

‘We have got to move with the times. Hopefully, we surprise people with the way we do that’

Umpires will no longer use neither the single or marital prefix when announcing that a woman has won a game, set or match in a bid to 'achieve consistency' between the sexes
Umpires will no longer use neither the single or marital prefix when announcing that a woman has won a game, set or match in a bid to 'achieve consistency' between the sexes

Wimbledon has dropped the titles of “Miss” and “Mrs” when announcing scores in women’s matches in order to “move with the times”.

The All England Lawn Tennis club has said umpires will no longer use the honorifics when announcing a female player has won a game, set or match in an attempt to “achieve consistency” between the sexes.

Match officials instead will simply say “game” or “game, set, match” followed by a player’s surname, which is what happens in men’s matches.

The issue gained attention last year after Serena Williams married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian several months before the championships.

The umpire declared “Game, set and match, Mrs Williams” when the seven-times champion clinched her first-round match against Arantxa Rus, despite the fact Williams did not take Ohanian’s name when they got married.

Alexandra Willis, of the All England Club, said: “We have got to move with the times. Hopefully, we surprise people with the way we do that.

“Some of the traditions – white clothing, playing on grass – our greatest strengths. Others absolutely have to move with the times. You have to respect the wishes of the players. I suppose the challenge for us is how much you rewrite history.”

Titles will still be used for code violations, medical announcements and player challenges, as they are for women’s and men’s matches throughout the tennis tour.

A spokesperson 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.”

The etiquette change is reflective of recent moves to ensure men and women players are treated equally at Wimbledon. Men’s and women’s singles champions only began getting the same prize money in 2007.

Officials got rid of the titles ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ from the tournament’s scoreboards in 2009 because the male title was never used.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in