Amidst all the excitement of Wimbledon, the tournament’s organisers are struggling to shake claims that they are favouring men over women for the main courts.
After losing to Garbine Muguruza last week, world No 1 Angelique Kerber said that she was “really surprised” that the match took place on Court No. 2 and said that he had been “really looking forward” to playing on one of the big two courts.
Jelena Ostapenko, who beat Elena Svitolina on Court No. 12, expressed similar sentiments and said that she thinks he deserves to play on a better court. The match featured the French Open champion against the world No 4 and Svitolina argued that it was a “very interesting match for people to watch”.
The former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki went one-step further and suggested that Wimbledon was the worst of the Grand Slams in terms of gender inequality.
“This is something that we have talked about at Wimbledon for the last 10 years,” she said following her defeat to American Coco Vandeweghe on Court No. 3. “It’s been the same for 10 years straight.”
She said that she thinks the other Grand Slams are more equal whereas at Wimbledon on “most days … there’s more men’s matches on Court 1”.
Fans have also expressed anger over the issue. Those watching on Henman Hill were angered when the feed of Johanna Konta’s match with Caroline Garcia was switched at a crucial stage for the start of Andy Murray’s match against Benoit Paire.
However, Richard Lewis, the All England Lawn Tennis Club chief executive, has played down the issue and insists that decisions are made according to demand, “I would not say it was favouritism, I would say it is taking the marquee matches. It is not about male or female, in the end it is about which matches you feel the public and broadcasters most want to see.”