Although Caroline Wozniacki exited the 2015 edition of the Wimbledon Championships in the fourth round, she managed to leave a bigger mark on the tournament than the majority of the players remaining in the draw.
Dejected and disappointed following her three-set loss to eventual finalist Garbine Muguruza, the Danish former world No. 1 arrived in the interview room and immediately offered some choice words on the All England Club’s apparent inequality.
“I think that’s what it’s all about; you work hard and practice to play on the big courts,” Wozniacki told media members during her post-match press conference. “The women really haven’t gotten the opportunity here to play on the big courts. You only get one women’s match on Court One and Centre Court.”
Wozniacki certainly has a point. Throughout the first week of the tournament up until the fourth round matches played on the second Monday, 16 men’s matches were played on Centre Court compared to nine for the women. The discrepancy was even clearer on Court 1, where the match differential was 14 for the men and a mere eight for the women.
“Most of last week it was only one women’s match on Court Two as well,” she continued. “It’s definitely different, that’s all I can say. I think a lot of us women feel like we deserve to play on the big courts in front of a big crowd, as well.”
Ranked 5th in the world during the tournament, one would have safely assumed that Wozniacki would be prominently displayed on one of the main show courts. However, she played on Centre Court just once during her opening round match against Saisai Zheng. Her loss to Garbine Muguruza, a finalist at the Championships, took place on Court 2.
The following day, Wozniacki’s friend and rival on the tour Serena Williams was also asked about the lopsided scheduling structure present at the prestigious grass court Grand Slam. Unlike the Dane, Williams offered a more nuanced and diplomatic response but also made it clear that the scheduling remains a problem on the tennis tour as a whole.
“I don’t think it’s limited to Wimbledon. We have this problem at a lot of different tournaments. Pretty much most of the tournaments that are both men and women. So I think it doesn’t start here.
“Every year there’re two men’s and one woman’s match on the main courts—Court No. 1 as well as on Centre Court. We’re still fighting on that. We’ve made some progress. Hopefully we’ll keep making more progress.”
“It’s a huge conversation that we have to have.”