London, June 30 (ANI): Wimbledon tennis organizers have been accused of using looks rather than ranking to decide which women play on Centre Court.
According to Sky News, in the first week of the Championships, fans missed out on watching several top seeded players on the exclusive Centre Court.
On Wednesday, the number two seed Serena Williams played her second round game on Court One, while fourth seed Elena Dementieva appeared on Court Two.
Centre Court was allocated to the 24th seed Maria Sharapova and the unseeded Gisela Dulko in what was widely regarded as a 'battle of the babes'.
The Times said some eyebrows were raised last Thursday, when the ninth seed played on Centre Court, leaving the top seed Dinara Safina on Court Two.
"There was a little bit of surprise in putting the Wozniacki-Kirilenko match on Centre Court - two beautiful blonde girls. You could argue there it was more box office, than whether they were deserving of a place on Centre Court," the paper's correspondent said.
On Friday, Serena Williams played on Court Two, while Centre Court saw action from the attractive, but lower ranked eighth seed Victoria Azarenka and 28th seeded Sorana Cirstea.
Some are now questioning the way Wimbledon allocates its most prestigious court - and asking whether it is based on looks.
Olympic Gold Medallist, and sports campaigner Tessa Sanderson CBE, described the situation as "laughable".
"I can't believe they're doing this. You can't judge people by the way they look. Women have been getting a lot better at raising their profile in sport. This is the most pathetic thing I've heard," she was quoted, as saying.
All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins said: "We don't look at a player and say she is attractive or he is attractive, therefore they play on the big court. But if a player is deemed to be popular, for whatever reason, they are more likely to be on one of the bigger courts." (ANI)