Wimbledon Women's Schedule Causes WTA Outrage

WIMBLEDON, England -- WTA chief Larry Scott said on Wednesday he was "disappointed and concerned" with the scheduling of women's matches at Wimbledon and planned to discuss the issue with organizers of the grass-court Grand Slam.

Serena Williams and Serbian No. 2 seed Jelena Jankovic lashed out at organizers on Monday after they, along with defending champion Venus Williams, were shunted off the two main show courts for their fourth-round matches.

While Venus and Serena, who between them have won six titles here, were moved to Court 2, Jankovic was exiled to Court 18, which she described as "almost in the parking lot."

"I do have concerns based on what I have seen about the scheduling and I know some of our players were troubled by it," Scott told Reuters. "But I do plan on meeting with the chairman of Wimbledon in the next couple of days and discussing our concerns."

"I want to understand his point of view and the club's point of view. I think it's important they understand our players' point of view and my point of view."

The scheduling on Monday raised eyebrows because, while the Williams sisters and Jankovic were banished to smaller arenas, the main attractions in the men's draw, five-time champion Roger Federer, two-time runner-up Rafael Nadal and British hope Andy Murray have played all of their 2008 matches on the two main courts.

Although Venus Williams, who is chasing a fifth Wimbledon title, refused to get drawn into the argument, her younger sister Serena did not hold back.

"Initially I thought, OK, is this the right schedule? I thought maybe there was a mistake," the eight-time Grand Slam winner said.

The sisters might have the right to feel aggrieved, because the last time Federer was off the two main show courts at Wimbledon was the 2003 quarterfinals against Dutchman Sjeng Schalken -- and that was before Federer had won his first title.

"I've spoken to Venus, Serena and Jelena Jankovic and they're quite pleased that I'm going to be taking this up directly with the chairman," Scott said.

"I was disappointed and concerned and share the concern of our players. ... I've committed to them that I would take this up this week."

Scott declined to comment when asked if he thought the women were not receiving treatment equal with the top men.

But when it was pointed out that Federer, Nadal and Murray had played all of their matches on the two main courts this year, Scott said: "That speaks for itself."

Wimbledon referee Andrew Jarrett said on Monday that organizing the packed schedule meant not all players could appear on the courts they preferred.

"With 16 matches to play on six show courts, it is inevitable that some leading players will be scheduled away from Centre and Court One," he said.

"This is always the case on the second Monday at Wimbledon and as such provides a great opportunity for spectators."

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