London: Wimbledon umpires are no longer using women’s marital status at the end of each game and match, bringing the use of prefixes in line with the men’s competition.
“Game, Miss...” or “Game, set and match, Mrs...” have been a traditional part of the Wimbledon soundscape stretching back throughout the decades. However, all that came to an end yesterday as the 2019 Championships got under way.
“The only change is to remove the use of prefixes when announcing the score at the end of each game and at the end of each match,” an All England Club spokeswoman said.
Prefixes will continue to be used for code violations, medical announcements and player challenges, as they are for women’s and men’s matches throughout the tennis tour.
As before, prefixes are not used for pre-match announcements, during the warm-up or prior to the first point.
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The women’s honours board is staying the same, so underneath “2018 Miss A. Kerber”, the 2019 entry will still read Miss or Mrs for this year’s women’s champion.
“It’s just being consistent with what is done for the men’s matches,” a spokeswoman said.
Prefixes do not appear on the scoreboard.
A spokeswoman 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.”
British number two Heather Watson, who beat Caty McNally of the United States on Court 12, welcomed the move but said it had not registered with her during the match.
“Equality is always good. I didn’t even notice out there,” she said.