Historical past Made: Feminine Officiating Workforce Takes Rate In Sofia


Historical past has been made this week on the Sofia Open.

For the primary time, an all-female chair umpire staff was once assigned to an ATP Excursion tournament. As well as, the ATP manager, match director, referee and leader of umpires in Sofia also are feminine. Match Director Kay Godkhindi defined why it’s an exhilarating side of the development.

“To be fair we didn’t realise because it all came about organically for us. The match staff was once constructed with individuals who simply love what they do,” Godkhindi stated. “I’ve been concerned with establishing each males’s and girls’s occasions and whilst they each have their particular necessities, on the finish of the day it’s the similar factor — ensuring to stay the entire balls within the air, making sure everybody is worked up and that we proceed to try and ship the most productive match.

“We’re a small a part of a better motion that your gender doesn’t outline your features, nevertheless it’s nice to have equivalent alternative in each the ATP and the WTA and empowering ladies every time imaginable is all the time a step in the precise course. It’s improbable that the ATP are championing this by way of hiring ATP supervisors and chair umpires.”

Members of the Sofia Open tournament team and the officiating crew.
Picture Credit score: Lap.bg
As many male-dominated sports activities start to upload feminine officers to their rosters, tennis already has a number of outstanding feminine officers — together with the ones overseeing males’s fits — courting again a number of a long time.

A type of officers is Anne Lasserre, who’s the ATP Manager for the ATP 250 in Sofia. Lasserre is the primary feminine to serve within the specific position.

“I believe it’s an honour as smartly to be the primary feminine. I labored as a chair umpire for the ATP a very long time in the past,” Lasserre stated. “I believe issues and the location are evolving, which I believe is a superb factor. It’s an honour, I’m pleased with it…

“It’s just right to take into accounts the long run and with the ability to damage this glass ceiling and provides this chance to different women to do the similar process like we do in each and every recreation.”


One of the crucial chair umpires in Sofia, Aurelie Tourte, added that it’s “an excellent feeling” to have a match led by way of feminine officers.

“I believe it’s an excellent thought from the ATP. It simply presentations that gender doesn’t topic on the finish of the day,” Tourte stated. “In case you are a feminine or a male, what issues is you’re a just right professional, a chair umpire, and that’s what we’re seeking to display this week. On every other hand, I’d say that it feels even higher when this can be not noted, that one day it’ll be commonplace to have women within the ATP tournaments.”

Tourte turned into the primary full-time chair umpire hired by way of the ATP in 2019. She feels an tournament with a feminine officiating staff is essential now not only for the officers concerned, however long run generations.

“I believe it’s just right for the younger officers to search out motivation, to look that it’s imaginable,” Tourte stated. “In case you return a couple of years, you wouldn’t see any feminine chair umpires at the ATP Excursion. Now you spot an increasing number of, in order a tender professional whilst you watch TV and you spot a feminine within the chair, it’s possible you’ll really feel, ‘Smartly, I might be there, I may make it.’”

For the primary time in ATP historical past, all 4 of Thursday’s centre court docket fits have been officiated by way of feminine umpires, whilst officiating for the rest of the development from quarterfinals onwards can be overseen solely by way of feminine umpires.

ATP Senior Director of Officiating Management Ali Nili stated: “The ATP Officiating Division prioritises prime efficiency and a various officiating staff. The match in Sofia is an instance of our a hit efforts in that course. Whilst the street to growth is lengthy, we’re pleased with the course we’re heading and the long run turns out vivid.”



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