Tennis Legend Billie Jean King Proposes Changes to Wimbledon Tournament Date

  • Luke L 
Billie Jean King

The traditional tennis calendar may undergo significant adjustments following proposals by Billie Jean King to establish a new Premium Tour, advocating for equal pay for male and female players. The Wimbledon Championships, held annually at SW19, could potentially see alterations to its schedule to align with this initiative.

Billie Jean King aims to introduce 11 to 14 combined events under the Premium Tour, influencing a shift in the timing of major tennis tournaments. Tennis Australia’s Craig Tiley and United States Tennis Authority chief Stacey Allaster have already initiated discussions with players in Melbourne during the Australian Open to set these changes in motion.

The anticipated modifications to the schedule might prompt Wimbledon organisers to consider moving the Championships back a week. This adjustment, however, could result in a clash between the women’s singles final and the third round of golf’s Open Championship, with the men’s final overlapping with the fourth round for the claret jug.

Notably, Wimbledon has previously experienced scheduling conflicts with major sporting events, such as the 2019 final coinciding with England’s ODI World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s.

The Australian Open also faces potential adjustments, with the possibility of moving the opening Slam of the year back one week. This, however, may negatively impact spectator numbers as it aligns with children returning to school during the second week.

Similarly, the French Open may be brought forward by a week, though concerns about cold night temperatures in Paris during mid-May are acknowledged. The US Open, on the other hand, will remain unchanged, as its timing aligns with the “Labor Day” holiday weekend, significantly boosting attendance.

Craig Tiley emphasised that extensive discussions between the ATP and WTA have taken place, cautioning that the proposed plans are not guaranteed to be adopted. He stated, “The slams are very united in their resolve, but it’s a complex problem to solve. If it wasn’t complicated, it would have been solved already. These ideas aren’t new, but what may be new is the motivation to give it a go, and to see if there’s that opportunity. But there’s never any guarantees.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *