History was made this week in Open Sofia.
For the first time, an all-women team of judges was appointed for the ATP Tour event. In addition, the ATP Supervisor, Tournament Director, Referee and Chief Referee for Sofia are also women. Tournament director Kai Goodkindi explained why it was such an exciting aspect of the event.
“Honestly, we didn’t realize that all of this happened to us naturally. The championship team is built on people who love what they do,” Goodkindi said. The end of the day is the same – making sure we keep all the balls in the air, ensuring everyone’s happiness we continue to strive for the best championship.
“We are a small part of a larger movement where your gender doesn’t define your abilities, but it’s great to have equal opportunities in both the ATP and WTA and empowering women whenever possible is always a step in the right direction. It’s great that the ATP He champions this by appointing supervisors and referees from the ATP.”
Sofia Open Championship team and ruling crew. “/>
Image source: Lap.bg
With many male-dominated sports starting to add female officials to their rosters, tennis already has many high-profile female officials – including those supervising men’s matches – dating back several decades.
One such official is Anne Lasser, an ATP supervisor at ATP 250 in Sofia. Lasserre is the first woman to serve in this specific role.
“I think it’s a great honor to be the first woman. I’ve been serving as the ATP referee for a long time,” Lasserre said. “I think things and the situation is developing, and I think it’s a good thing. It’s an honor, I’m proud of it…
“It’s good to think ahead and be able to break that glass ceiling and give this opportunity to other females to do the same work as we do in every sport.”
Aurelie Tort, one of the chairs judges in Sofia, added that it was “a great feeling” to have a tournament led by female officials.
“I think it’s a great idea from the ATP. It just shows that gender doesn’t matter at the end of the day,” said Tort. “If you’re female or male, what matters is that you’re a good official, chair judge, and that’s what we’re trying to show this week. On the other hand, I would say it would feel better when it wasn’t noticed, that at some point it would be common to have females in the ATP tournaments.”
Tort became the first full-time female referee by the ATP in 2019. She feels that an event with a women’s management team is important not only to the officials involved, but to future generations.
“I think it’s good for young officials to find the motivation, to see that it is possible,” said Tort. “If you go back a few years back, you won’t see any women’s chair judges on the ATP tour. Now you see more and more, so as a young official when you watch TV and you see a female on the chair, you might feel, ‘OK, I can be there, I can That I do that.”
For the first time in ATP history, all four center court matches on Thursday were supervised by women’s referees, while the women’s referees will exclusively run the remainder of the event from the quarter-finals onwards.
Ali Nelly, Senior Managing Director of the ATP, said: “The ATP Assignment Division prioritizes high performance and a diverse management team. The tournament in Sofia is an example of our successful efforts in this direction. While the road to progress is long, we are proud of the direction we are heading and the future looks bright.”