Caroline Wozniacki Ignites Sexism Debate over Wimbledon Show Court Appearances

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2015

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Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki has sparked a sexism debate after suggesting women don't receive the same opportunities men do.

"I would love to play on a big court," said Wozniacki after her 6-4, 6-4 loss to Garbine Muguruza on Monday, reported Nick Purewal of the Press Association (h/t the Daily Mail). Wozniacki continued:

I think that's what it's all about; you work hard and practice to play on the big courts. 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.

Most of last week it was only one women's match on Court Two as well. 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.

Wozniacki was then asked about the ankle injury golfer and former fiance Rory McIlroy suffered over the weekend, at which point the press conference came to an abrupt end, as and the Associated Press reported.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark plays a backhand in her Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet C
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The Dane's round-of-16 loss took place on Court Two. Serena Williams beat her sister Venus Williams on Centre Court, while Maria Sharapova overcame Zarina Diyas on Court One, per Wimbledon's official website. French Open runner-up Lucie Safarova crashed out of the competition to Coco Vandeweghe on Court Three.

Centre Court is being dominated by women on Tuesday, as the men have a rest day. Sharapova met Vandeweghe to start the day, and Williams is set to take on Victoria Azarenka following the conclusion of that match. Novak Djokovic also concluded his five-set encounter with Kevin Anderson before two scheduled women's matches took place on Court One.

Wozniacki has reached the fourth round of Wimbledon on four occasions but has never landed a quarter-final tie.

The fifth seed's defeat means there is no longer a top-10 seed in the lower half of the draw. Muguruza, who bested Wozniacki, followed Djokovic's match on Court One with a tie against Timea Bacsinszky, who she defeated 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals.

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Kei Nishikori, the men's fifth seed, appeared on Court One during his first match of this year's tournament and was scheduled to appear on Centre Court in the second round before pulling out with injury. Wozniacki performed on Centre Court during her opening round before winning on Court 12 and Court One prior to Monday's loss on Court Two, per Wimbledon.

Ultimately, the tournament's scheduling is weighted in favour of players who have greater audience pull. The current era of tennis undoubtedly sees more interest in the men's game, where the depth of high-profile names stretches down as far as world Nos. 10, 11 and 12, where you find Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

That being said, Wozniacki may have a point that the ladies' draw is underrepresented to a degree. Serena remains a staple on the show courts due to her domination of the sport. Her success creates headlines and a huge following, leading to prime coverage on the big stage, but it remains to be seen if more women will find a place on the show courts in future years.