Wimbledon to finally ditch the ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ prefixes on its famous honours boards as it modernises

Wimbledon
Ashleigh Barty poses with the Venus Rosewater Dish at Wimbledon

The All England Lawn Tennis Club will finally move with the times as it will at long last drop the “Miss” and “Mrs” prefixes of women’s champions on the Wimbledon honours boards.

The move means that the presentation of the female champions will now be in line with the male winners while they will also no longer list female champions who are married with the initials and surnames of their husbands.

Since the ladies’ singles was introduced at SW19 in 1884, women’s and men’s names have been presented differently as the men’s champions are recorded by their first-name initial and surname with the 2021 winner Novak Djokovic simply going by “N Djokovic”.

That was in contrast to women’s champion Ashleigh Barty as she was honoured as “Miss A Barty”.

Meanwhile, Chris Evert is presented as “C.M. Evert” for her 1974 and 1976 Wimbledon titles, but was immortalised as “Mrs. J.M. Lloyd” for her 1981 triumph following her marriage to John Lloyd. The 1981 version stayed despite their divorce in 1987.

American icon Billie Jean King is listed as “Mrs. L.W. King” for her five wins even though she divorced Larry King in 1987 while Australian great Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s 1980 title win is recorded “Mrs R Cawley” after she married Roger Cawley in 1975.

The latest move to modernise comes three years after the All England Club decided that umpires no longer have to identify women’s players with their titles. Before 2019, Barty would have been referred to as either “Miss Barty or Mrs Barty” during matches while Djokovic would have been referred to as “Djokovic”.

One tradition that will remain, for now at least, is tournament will continue to refer to events as the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ competition instead of the men’s and the ladies’ events.

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