LIFESTYLE

Women's Tennis Association Asks Fans To Vote For 'Best Dressed' Female Player, Gets Served

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13/07/2017 17:00 BST | Updated 14/07/2017 07:56 BST

Less than 24 hours after Andy Murray was praised for calling out a reporter for overlooking female tennis players, another sexism row has kicked off around Wimbledon.

This time the culprit is a somewhat unlikely source: the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), who asked Twitter users to vote for the ‘best dressed’ female tennis players in the tournament.  

Newsflash: they all wear pretty much the same white outfits. Oh, and it’s 2017.   

People were encouraged to ‘vote for their favourite Wimbledon whites’ by the official WTA Twitter account - and unsurprisingly, it wasn’t long before it all kicked off.

“Stop asking people to objectify these incredible athletes and don’t diminish their talent to who looks best in a dress,” wrote one.

Another added: “Is there a men’s best dressed competition too?”

WTA describes itself as “the global leader in women’s professional sport”, however its latest endeavour fell well short of the mark.

The tweet linked to a voting page on the association’s website with a description of each tennis player’s outfit and who designed it. 

Some of the athletes featured in the poll include Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Kristina Mladenovic, Carina Witthoeft, Petra Kvitova and Dominika Cibulkova.

WTA
A screenshot of the WTA website.

While a handful of people took the tweet at face value and shared their thoughts on who they thought was best dressed, most were quick to call out the WTA for treating the women as “clothes horses”. 

In response to the backlash, WTA told HuffPost UK: “Tennis has a rich history linking the sport with fashion, and this is no more evident than at The Championships.

“The traditional all-white dress code at Wimbledon is one of the most famous and iconic aspects of tennis, and the recent WTA best-dressed poll was created to celebrate this unique feature of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. 

“We see nothing wrong with promoting athleticism while celebrating Wimbledon’s wonderful dress code.”

On Wednesday, Andy Murray corrected a journalist who asked a question that ignored women players in the sport.

Murray left the tournament when beaten by American player Sam Querrey, and was asked about his opponent in the post-match press conference.

“Andy, Sam is the first American player to reach the semi-final of a Slam since 2009...” the reporter began, to which Murray responded: “Male player.”

“I beg your pardon?” the journalist responded. “Male player,” Murray repeated.

The tennis player was widely praised on social media for calling out the reporter’s error.

Serena and Venus Williams, Coco Vandeweghe and Madison Keys - all American players - have reached Grand Slam semi-finals since 2009.

Serena won Wimbledon last year - one of 12 major titles secured in the period - and Venus reached the semis on Tuesday.  

HuffPost UK has reached out to the WTA and is awaiting comment.