Smarty Pants Podcast

Wimbledon Unwound

The surprising sexual politics of tennis

By Stephanie Bastek | July 6, 2018
Horace Henry Cauty, Tennis Players, 1885
Horace Henry Cauty, Tennis Players, 1885

In case you missed it, the grassy courts of Wimbledon are open once again for the annual championship—the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams is back in action, moving through the singles bracket and joining sister Venus in the doubles, and Roger Federer is looking for his ninth win. To commemorate the most famous fortnight in sports, we’re revisiting our interview with Elizabeth Wilson, an English tennis fan and cultural historian. Among her surprising insights, given the pay gap between genders in modern tournaments: the game’s Victorian reboot found men and women on the same playing field.

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