For her Friday match at Wimbledon, ten-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams was designated to play conspicuously out of the way, on the tournament's second stage, while 28th seed Sorana Cirstea occupied the prime real estate of Centre Court. This morning, Britain's Daily Mail is reporting that top contenders, including Williams, despite her number 2 seed, may have been relegated to play away from the television spotlight of Centre Court based on attractiveness, while comparable male champions, like five-time Wimbledon winner Roger Federer, consistently occupy the main space.
"Good looks are a factor," said All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins, explaining why young unknown beauties, like Cirstea, 19, are scheduled to play front and center, while better players are positioned away from the BBC television cameras. One BBC source dished on the issue:
It's the Wimbledon play committee, not us who decides on the order of play. But obviously it's advantageous to us if there are good-looking women players on Centre Court. 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. It's not a coincidence that those (on Centre Court) are attractive.