Wimbledon Finally Drops 'Miss' And 'Mrs' Titles For Female Tennis Players

It's game, set and match as the titles are resigned to history 🎾

Female tennis players at Wimbledon will no longer be addressed as ‘Miss’ or ’Mrs by umpires during matches – as the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club says it has to “move with the times”.

The prefix is being dropped to bring things into line with the way male players are addressed by match officials. So when a woman wins a game, set or match, the umpire will now simply say: “Game, Williams”, rather than “Game, Mrs Williams” (‘Ms’ has never been used).

The All England Club says it wants to “achieve consistency” between the sexes.

Serena Williams brought the issue into the spotlight in 2018 when she married Alexis Ohanian and (despite Williams keeping her maiden name) was henceforth referred to by a married prefix. Alexandra Willis, from the All England Club made the announcement on Monday.

She said: “Some of the traditions — white clothing, playing on grass — they are our greatest strengths and the things that we do. 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?”

The move was not a result of requests from players, the club noted.

Novak Djokovic, although supporting the news, was surprised at the change.

“I thought that tradition was very unique and very special. I thought it was nice,” he say. “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.”

The prefixes for both sexes will still be used for code violations, medical announcements and player challenges, as this is the rule set down by the International Tennis Federation for all tours.

And the champion’s boards inside the clubhouse and public areas will also display the female player’s marital status, though men are addressed by initials.

The French Open used to address women during matches as either “Madame” or “Mademoiselle” but also dropped its use of marital status this year.

Wimbledon was the last of all the Grand Slam events to award equal amounts of prize money to men and women. This change happened in 2007.