The New Battle For Gender Equality At Wimbledon

Wimbledon has awarded equal prize money to men and women since 2007, but this doesn't mean the battle for gender parity at the world's most prestigious tennis tournament is totally over. Following her second-round victory over Greece's Maria Sakkari on Thursday, which took place on Court 18, one of Wimbledon's outer courts, five-times champion Venus Williams raised the issue of how many women's matches are scheduled on the two main "show courts," Centre Court and No.1 Court. "It's not the ideal schedule for the women," Williams said at her post-match press conference, Reuters reports. "We'd like to see equal amount of matches (on the show courts). We don't want more, just the same amount, that's all." Asked if she could imagine watching a five-times men's champion playing on an outer court like Court 18, Williams replied, "I haven't seen that in the scheduling yet." When it emerged that Venus Williams had been scheduled to play on Court 18 on Thursday, nine-times Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova conceded that this week's poor weather was a factor, as the tournament sought to make up for lost time by getting as many matches played as possible, on whatever court. However, she still described the decision to send a player of Venus Williams' stature to Court 18 as "nonsense".
So far, Venus Williams' criticism of Wimbledon's show court scheduling is largely borne out by the statistics. Today, Saturday the 2nd of July, a total of four men's matches are scheduled to take place on Centre Court and Court No.1, compared to just two women's matches. Double the number of men's matches were also scheduled for the show courts on Thursday and Friday. However, Monday and Wednesday saw an equal number of men's and women's matches played on the show courts, while more women's matches than men's were played on the show courts on Tuesday.

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