On Wednesday (July four) on the Wimbledon Grand Slam Event, tennis icon Serena Williams added one other victory to her lengthy listing of wins in a second-round singles match towards Viktoriya Tomova. Whereas the world noticed the win as one for "Serena Williams," the All England Membership, which hosts Wimbledon, referred to the athlete in one other method: "Mrs. Williams."
Williams married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in November 2017, however didn’t take his final title (therefore why she isn't referred to as "Mrs. Ohanian"). Nonetheless, Wimbledon follows a "courtesy" custom, based on The New York Occasions, that dictates feminine winners on the event have to be listed on the venue's board of champions—and all through the event—in a method that displays their marital standing. This mainly permits the spouses of feminine opponents to take some credit score for his or her wives' athletic feats, as its their first initials and final names which are given on the leaderboard. Moreover, on the finish of each match, the winner is introduced by her marital title within the "Sport, set, match" name by the chair umpire.
Though "Ms." and "Mrs." precede each feminine athlete's title, male opponents at Wimbledon are merely introduced by their first preliminary and final title. This isn't the one occasion of inequality at Wimbledon: The event was the final of the Grand Slam occasions to supply equal prize cash to female and male opponents.
The New York Occasions reported that Williams hasn't determined what she truly wish to be referred to as—or whether or not Wimbledon will settle for her resolution. “It nonetheless doesn’t register that I’m married truly,” Williams mentioned concerning her title, based on the Occasions. “A lot has occurred prior to now 12 months.” Nonetheless, the way in which Williams—and different feminine athletes—are referred to all through Wimbledon attracts consideration to their marriages as an alternative of their performances and deserves as elite athletes.
Wimbledon's so-called courtesy titles are one in all many areas the place the tennis world falls behind in treating female and male athletes equally within the title of custom. As Glamour reported earlier this yr, Williams' return to the Grand Slam tennis tournaments got here at a decrease rank as a result of the delivery of her daughter was handled like an harm. And regardless of Williams' prowess on the tennis courtroom, she didn’t rank among the many world's 100 highest-paid athletes—nor did a single girl, for that matter.
Clearly, tennis has a protracted strategy to go till feminine opponents are handled equally. Right here's hoping the sports activities world is paying consideration.
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