WIMBLEDON, England -- WTA chief Larry Scott said on
Wednesday he was "disappointed and concerned" with the
scheduling of women's matches at Wimbledon and planned to
discuss the issue with organizers of the grass-court Grand Slam.
Serena Williams and Serbian No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic lashed
out at organizers on Monday after they, along with defending
champion Venus Williams, were shunted off the two main
show courts for their fourth-round matches.
While Venus and Serena, who between them have won six titles
here, were moved to Court 2, Jankovic was exiled to
Court 18, which she described as "almost in the parking lot."
"I do have concerns based on what I have seen about the
scheduling and I know some of our players were troubled by it,"
Scott told Reuters. "But I do plan on meeting with the chairman of Wimbledon in
the next couple of days and discussing our concerns."
"I want to understand his point of view and the club's point
of view. I think it's important they understand our players'
point of view and my point of view."
The scheduling on Monday raised eyebrows because, while the
Williams sisters and Jankovic were banished to smaller arenas,
the main attractions in the men's draw, five-time champion
Roger Federer, two-time runner-up Rafael Nadal and British hope
Andy Murray have played all of their 2008 matches on the two main
Although Venus Williams, who is chasing a fifth Wimbledon title, refused
to get drawn into the argument, her younger sister Serena did
not hold back.
"Initially I thought, OK, is this the right schedule? I
thought maybe there was a mistake," the eight-time Grand Slam winner said.
The sisters might have the right to feel aggrieved, because the
last time Federer was off the two main show courts at Wimbledon
was the 2003 quarterfinals against Dutchman Sjeng Schalken -- and
that was before Federer had won his first title.
"I've spoken to Venus, Serena and Jelena Jankovic and
they're quite pleased that I'm going to be taking this up
directly with the chairman," Scott said.
"I was disappointed and concerned and share the concern of
our players. ... I've committed to them that I would take this up
Scott declined to comment when asked if he thought the women
were not receiving treatment equal with the top men.
But when it was pointed out that Federer, Nadal and Murray
had played all of their matches on the two main courts this year, Scott said: "That speaks for itself."
Wimbledon referee Andrew Jarrett said on Monday that organizing
the packed schedule meant not all players could appear on the
courts they preferred.
"With 16 matches to play on six show courts, it is
inevitable that some leading players will be scheduled away from
Centre and Court One," he said.
"This is always the case on the second Monday at Wimbledon
and as such provides a great opportunity for spectators."