Game. Set. Match – Tennis and Sexism

With Wimbledon well under way you’d be hard pushed to find a news outlet not keeping their readers up to date with the latest wins and losses as they happen, but the player’s progressions aren’t the only newsworthy focus this year with the sport’s underlying sexism making quite the headline.

First the scheduling of games was put under scrutiny as male matches were given the majority of slots on the Centre Court. In the first seven days of the tournament alone 14 matches on the Centre Court were played by the men’s singles, whilst only 8 were by the women’s, with no clear reasoning as to why the Centre Court is favoured towards the male players.

Yesterday saw Andy Murray call out a reporter for their sexism when asking him how he felt about one of his opponents. The reporter mistakenly commented that Sam Querrey is the first US player to reach a major semi-final since 2009, however Andy Murray corrected him by stating that Sam is the first male player and that there has in fact been a player before him to achieve this, she just happens to be female.

Andy Murray reminds sexist reporter women are people too

Posted by The Independent on Thursday, 13 July 2017

Murray’s correction has since taken both backlash and praise from the media and tennis fans alike, with some arguing that the reporter hadn’t meant to offend or disregard the achievements of female players – however whether he meant it or not is irrelevant, this type of ingrained sexism not only in sports but in our society is what needs to change, viewing the world and it’s events with a default ‘male’ focus is the most damaging.

In September this year Battle of the Sexes will hit theatre screens, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell portraying legendary tennis players Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs respectively. The film is based on their revolutionary male vs female tennis match in 1973 which saw King beat Riggs, with King’s win later being scrutinised rather than praised as it rightfully should have been. It seems 2017 is the year that tennis stands up and speaks out about sexism in sport. But the question remains, are we willing to listen?