marija cicak
FeminismsSexuality and Gender

Wimbledon 2021: how history was made by Marija Cicak

At the Wimbledon final, history was made, not only by Novak Djokovic, but by Marija Cicak. In July 2021 at the Wimbledon final, Marija Cicak became the first female chair umpire for the men’s singles final. Cicak umpired the match between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini. Djokovic defeated Berrettini and therefore became equal with both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 grand slam titles.

Marija Cicak

Cicak is one of 39 female umpires in tennis. There are 185 umpires in total, according to Arthi Nachiappan.

Born and raised in Croatia, Cicak has been a gold badge chair umpire and a member of the WTA Elite Team for nine years.

Cicak had already made history for umpiring big matches by being the chair umpire for the 2014 Wimbledon Women’s Single finals (between Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard) and the Women’s Doubles final in 2017.

Cicak additionally officiated the Women’s Singles gold medal match in 2016 at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Cicak began playing tennis in her youth and started umpiring at an early age too. Cicak began umpiring when she was 15 year old in national tournaments in Croatia.

Cicak earned her silver badge in 2007 and subsequently gained more tournament experience by becoming a member of a joint officiating team between the ATP Tour, ITF and WTA beginning in 2009.

Cicak got her gold badge and joined the WTA’s team of umpire full-time in 2012. Consequently, Cicak has umpired at 15 consecutive Wimbledon Championships and 10 year-end WTA Finals.

When it was announced that Cicak would become the first female umpire, there was a colossal amount of praise on social media, particularly Twitter, that she acquired. Wimbledon has been going on for 144 years, and it’s taken this long for the first female chair umpire of a men’s singles final to occur. Better late than never.