Adrian Wilson, the Wimbledon chief of officials, said the marital statuses of female players come from the Women’s Tennis Association and are put into the central tournament database, which displays on the tablet screens used by chair umpires. This year 20 women are listed under “Mrs.”, according to a document provided by the WTA. The relationship-neutral Ms. has never been used at Wimbledon. It was popularized in the United States in the 1970s, most notably with the introduction of Gloria Steinem’s Ms. magazine.
But with the courtesy titles at Wimbledon, the occasional unforced error is made. Yanina Wickmayer married Jérôme van der Zijl last year, but was called “Miss Wickmayer” by the chair umpire during her second-round win on Wednesday.
Wickmayer said she did not care how she was addressed. “As long as I’m winning points and games, I’m all good,” she said.
Some forms of address are permanent at the All England Club, which operates as if there’s a man in front of many great women.
If you don’t know who Mrs. R. Cawley is, you can consult a glossary in the Wimbledon Compendium, an exhaustive record of the tournament’s history. Compiled by the Wimbledon librarian, the compendium also logs the marriage history — husband, wedding date and location — of any woman who has reached the semifinals or final. No such record is kept for the men who have graced the tournament’s final four. Nor does the book appear to include any same-sex marriages, like the nine-time singles champion Martina Navratilova’s 2014 union to Julia Lemigova.
Some players show up more on the marriage register than any other part of the tournament’s history. Joyce Barclay, who reached the women’s doubles semifinals at Wimbledon in 1972, is credited with five marriages.
That is one mark Serena Williams, whose Nov. 16, 2017, marriage to Ohanian in New Orleans was one of the new entries for this year’s compendium, hopes not to surpass. “Hopefully, it’s just one,” she said, laughing.