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Prettier faces have advantage of playing on Wimbledon Centre Court

Svetlana Kuznetsova at Wimbledon 2009Beauty of a player is among the things taken into consideration when deciding on the court selection at Wimbledon and it has been confirmed by All England Club spokesperson Johnny Perkins.

"Good looks are a factor," said Perkins, and added that court selection is "a great big mixture of where the players are in the draw, who they're playing, what their ranking is".

Svetlana Kuznetsova was among those bewildered by the situation:

It's weird. If you look at the schedule, it's not only about me. It's about Dinara on Court No 2, Venus (Williams) on Court No 1 and the girls who are not very highly seeded they play on Centre. I respect them. They're great players for sure. But this is what's weird for me; what's their strategy, what's their plan of making the schedule?

Kuzzy, I’m illustrating this article with your photo! :)

Despite the frustrations of the supposedly less-pretty top players, BBC is benefiting from Wimbledon’s scheduling policy.

A BBC source said:

No one has heard of many of the women now, so if they are pretty it definitely gives them an edge. Our preference would always be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing figures.

(source Daily Mail via Down the Line, photo courtesy of Life)

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19 thoughts on “Prettier faces have advantage of playing on Wimbledon Centre Court

  1. Teerin

    That explains why Maria Kirilenko and Caroline Wozniacki were playing on Centre Court. But they put Ana Ivanovic on Court 18 and she never played on Centre Court. In the beginning of the tournament, it seems like the Williams and Maria (:P) get to play on show courts. Not that I mind.

  2. Steve

    Christ. We definitely need some feminists here getting enraged, because this is pretty shocking sexism.

    (Although Teerin, you say Wozniacki/Kirilenko, at least Caro is a good player. They had Azarenka/Cirstea on, which was stranger).

  3. Zuleika

    Guys, a funnier or perhaps 'stranger' thing too, is that the 'non-prettier faces' don't get headline 'featured' on web articles that often… so don't blame the BBC or Wimbledon tournament organisers, wasn't the article before the previous one, the first time Dina was mentioned and she's WO.1- Judging from the lack of coverage, one might have thought, she'd dissapeared off the face of the earth.

  4. Diane

    Not only is this is a disgusting (but not surprising) policy, it also has other ramifications. Remember when the Australian Open did a website feature on who the "babes" were? The babes always have one thing in common–their skin color.

  5. RichF

    I'm finding it difficult to care much about this. I can certainly see why some would be offended, but the tournament organizers are free to arrange the matches as they see fit.

  6. Zuleika

    Unfortunately RichF, the Wimby tourney organisers and BBC don't agree with us. The comment I made simply empathised with Dina's comment in one of the interviews earlier that she thought it too, was unfair that she as Wo.1, was prior to the quarters, was not featured on Centre court. I too, suggested this discriminatory attitude by the tournament organisers and the BBC of lack of appropriate publicity was unfortunately too, reflected in the amount of 'coverage' and headlines, or lack thereof featuring Dina, evidently on womenstennisblog.com…

  7. Rachel

    Guess they dont have a choice but to make the "non-pretty" players play on Center Court when they reach the finals…

  8. Marija

    Rachel, hahaha funny comment.

    Zuleika, I'm the only person writing this blog and I write articles which I think are relevant, mixed with some lighter articles for entertainment, and I'm constantly trying to keep that balance and not go too far one direction or the other.

    I know very well that I haven't really covered Safina during Wimbledon, even though she's currently probably my favorite player who I find very cute. It was a matter of the circumstances, and I was covering some more intriguing players, like troubling Jankovic and Ivanovic, whose careers may be turning now. Also, I covered upsets and a few light off-court stories. Safina is No.1 and her Wimbledon progress is in accordance with that.

    If you want to contribute with free articles about Safina, I would more than welcome you to my blog since you are a good writer. What do you think about that? We can arrange everything via e-mail.

  9. Carlos

    All WTA players use their sex appeal and beauty even the ones who are not consider easy in the eyes (in the form of photos shoots, specially the ones in bikinis)to become popular and to get endorsements. If tournament organizers want a certain player to participate in their main court because they can attract a crowd, I don't have a problem because the organizers want to make money. WTA players can't have it both ways, use their beauty for their purposes and complain about it when affects them. I look at it as a double standard.

    Ms. Marija you're Serb yourself and I see your main focus is on the Serbian players, I expect it, I understand it, and I don't have a problem with this; but you also report on other players, do you miss stories? Once in a while you do, but I'm not gong to hold it against you; in my opinion this blog is the best.

    Ms. Zuleika I think it would be a good idea to contribute to this blog with your writing. BTW the U.S media did not focus on Dinara at all. When a player is doing good and not being reported by the media, in the U.S. media itself calls it "moving quietly".

    Ms. Marija make sure you close the quotes with quotation marks, I don't want to misquote anyone again. :P

  10. Marija

    I believe it's natural I miss stories, big news media are missing stories, so it's natural that a blog run by one person (one person for everything – writing, design, responding to emails, managing advertising, blog promotion) is permitted to skip something. After all, I'm writing for my own pleasure, and I can stop writing today if I want to.

    Carlos, where did I miss the quotes? I haven't noticed I have ever missed them?

  11. Lily

    It's fine if British players are featured, I wouldn't be surprised; all the other Grand Slams do the same (putting a player from home over a higher ranked player who's not from the country), but to choose prettier lower ranked players over the top ranked is just ridiculous. It loses viewers, well at least myself. Don't get me wrong, I think Maria's really pretty, but to put her on Centre is unfair to other players, who probably will make it further and want the experience. TV only broadcasts the Centre Court and Court 1 matches mainly, and if it's a lower ranked person I've never heard of, I probably won't watch it and instead will listen to the radio to hear my favorite players or top ranked people playing. It's ridiculous.

  12. fyuto

    Safina looks like she is about to explode anytime,she is not easy to look at when she is playing.Sveta has a good aura about her and to me that maks her better than say Sharapova who is really cold.

  13. Zuleika

    Marija, it would be a privilege to contribute guest articles on this blog with regards to Dina… if the offer is still available…

  14. Zuleika

    Marija, sorry, I have a new email address which I will send you via the 'contact' email above. Thanks.

  15. Marija

    Of course, the offer is available. I will send you an e-mail to arrange everything.

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