Wimbledon is set to remove the titles ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ from the women’s honours boards in its latest equality drive.
The decision comes three years after umpires stopped calling out titles during score updates at women’s matches.
The All England Club will drop the honorifics from the lists of winners and will install new boards next month, ready for the upcoming tournament.
Including a player’s title next to her name is a format that has been in place since Wimbledon first introduced the women’s singles in 1884. However, the men are not listed as ‘Mr’ on the honours boards.
For example, last year, Ashleigh Barty made the winners’ list for the first time and was named as ‘Miss A Barty’. Men’s champion Novak Djokovic on the other hand, was simply ‘N Djokovic’.
This summer, the winner of the women’s singles will be listed in the same format as her male counterpart — forename initial and surname — for the first time in more than 130 years.
As reported by The Times, Wimbledon insiders described this change as an effort ‘to move with the times’ and stated ‘the use of titles had become an anachronism in an age of increasing equality.’
Six-time Wimbledon champion and 20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic admitted he was surprised when the English tournament opted to drop honorifics from women’s names during umpire callings.
“I thought that tradition was very unique and very special; I thought it was nice,” the Serbian said back in 2019.
“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 decision to ditch titles from the honours board came after Wimbledon faced backlash over banning Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s tournament.
In response to the All England Club’s decision, the ATP, WTA and ITF announced that players will not receive ranking points at the summer Grand Slam. This means that those unable to participate will not be impacted in terms of their world ranking positions.
As a result of this, tennis legends Serena Williams and Roger Federer will drop out of the world rankings entirely. Although the two have teased returns to the All England Club this June, they would need to participate in an event prior to the tournament in order to hold onto their world status.
Neither player has competed since Wimbledon 2021 and even if they win the grass court Grand Slam this year, the suspended rankings points system will not be enough to keep them in the listings.