'Miss' missing as Wimbledon shakes up tradition

Jul 1, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Heather Watson (GBR) reacts during her match against Caty McNally (USA) on day one at the All England Lawn and Croquet Club. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

LONDON (Reuters) - A familiar sound was absent from Wimbledon’s courts when the tournament started on Monday as umpires were no longer using a woman’s marital status at the end of each game and match.

The use of prefixes such as ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ has, for the most part, been scrapped by the organisers, ending a long-held tradition and bringing parity with the men’s game.

That means no more “Game, Miss ... ” or “Game, set and match, Mrs...”

Britain’s Heather Watson was among those to welcome the move, saying: “Equality is always good.”

Yet, as with the passing of all traditions, not everybody was completely won over.

Men’s world number one Novak Djokovic said he supported the move, but added: “I thought that tradition was very unique and very special. I thought it was nice.

“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.”

Prefixes will not disappear entirely -- they will still be used for code violations, medical announcements and player challenges, but this is the same for women and men.

Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Ken Ferris