Wimbledon will no longer provide different coloured towels to men and women players after officials decided to scrap one of the last bastions of genderism.
Traditionally men were given two “championship” green and purple towels, while women received two “seasonal” ones, which in 2019 were pink and turquoise. But this year, for the first time, players are receiving one of each when they step on court.
A Wimbledon source said that this was one of the last male/female distinctions to go, having committed to equal pay in 2007 and equal tweets about male and female players a few years ago, and said the move was down to “progress” and a sense that the players no longer had a preference for either colour.
However, they confirmed there were no plans to make a new cup for the women and a new plate for the men when it comes to handing out the singles trophies.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon have revealed that they expect to run out of their popular £34 towels by the middle of next week after an unexpected run on them during the opening two days of the tournament.
In 2019 Wimbledon sold 27,419 Championships’ towels across the fortnight but had ordered a “conservative” volume – believed to be closer to 15,000 – this time round.
That was largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the number of fans that would be allowed into Wimbledon. However, officials have been surprised by how many supporters have wanted a memento of their visit after the tournament was cancelled last year.
Earlier on the second day of the Championships on Tuesday, a large oil spill from a cleaning vehicle meant that fans were delayed from entering the grounds for 30 minutes.
Antony Marquez, 36, from Canberra, was among spectators forced to wait as large queues developed outside at gate one. “It’s a bit annoying, but everyone was pretty relaxed as we were early,” he said. “We were held up for about half an hour. A guy from the council came down to declare the spillage safe.”