After a stunning 6-hour standoff between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, spectators in Wimbledon became witnesses to an impressive match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. However, their stubborn struggle played a low-down trick on the organizers of the championship.
Since their match started later and all matches at Wimbledon need to finish by 11p.m., the two had to postpone the end of their game until 1p.m. the next day. The problem was that the women's singles final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber was due to start at 2p.m., while Nadal and Djokovic had already shown that they were willing to fight to the end, meaning that they could need far longer than just 1 hour.
Many tennis commentators and players were outraged by the organizers' decision to schedule their match so close to the women's finals, blaming their unwillingness to schedule them for after the match between Williams and Kerber on sexism. The public also recalled the All England Club's stubbornness at shifting the schedule for the men's final, which only added fuel to the fire.
i think they should play AFTER the woman final. Give the Women their due and give the boys more rest….but i am NOT making the schedule.— rennae stubbs (@rennaestubbs) July 13, 2018
If you are Serena Williams or Angelique Kerber, no way they want to have Rafa and Novak on at 1pm when it could go another couple of hours and delay them. They are in the final, they deserve to have a set start time— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) July 13, 2018
It's dire when you gotta wait forever to play your SF in #Wimbledon.— René Denfeld (@Renestance) July 13, 2018
But imagine playing one of the single biggest matches of the year in the tennis calendar and you don't know if you'll start at 2pm or at 4pm. That's awful for Williams and Kerber and awful for women's tennis.
The women's final indeed started 2 hours later than initially scheduled, although it didn't take too long for Kerber to emerge victorious in the match — only an hour. Still, there is room for speculation as to whether the delay affected the players' spirits.