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Wimbledon men’s final to be umpired by a woman for first time in history

Croatian umpire Marija Cicak officiates the 2021 WTA Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament singles final match between Australia's Ashleigh Barty and Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka at the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 8, 2021.

Cicak will officiate the mens final (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

There will be a welcome change to an All England Club tradition on Sunday when a female umpire will chair the Wimbledon men’s final for the first time in the tournament’s 144-year history.

Marija Cicak from Croatia will be handed the prestigious job of overseeing Novak Djokovic’s clash with Matteo Berrettini.

Cicak, 43, is one of the sport’s most experienced and well respected umpires and has been an elite ITF Gold badge holder for the past decade.

She had previously umpired a Wimbledon women’s singles final – the 2014 edition in which Petra Kvitova defeated Eugenie Bouchard – but will now make history on Sunday.

A Statement from Wimbledon read: ‘The Chair Umpire for the Gentlemen’s Singles Final is Marija Cicak, 43, from Zagreb in Croatia.

Italy's Matteo Berrettini returns against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz during their men's singles semi-final match on the eleventh day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 9, 2021, and Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns against Canada's Denis Shapovalov during their men's singles semi-final match on the eleventh day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 9, 2021.

Berrettini will face Djokovic in the final (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘Marija is a Gold Badge Chair Umpire, who has been a member of the WTA Elite Team since the beginning of 2012.

‘Marija is the first female Chair Umpire of the Gentlemen’s Singles Final at Wimbledon, which follows her selection as the Chair Umpire of the Ladies’ Singles Final in 2014 and Ladies’ Doubles Final in 2017.

‘Marija has worked at 15 consecutive Championships as well as 10 year-end WTA Finals and numerous Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup ties around the world.

‘In addition, she has worked at the Olympic Games in Athens, London, and Rio, where she umpired the Women’s Singles Final.’

Britain’s James Keothavong, meanwhile, will be in the chair on Saturday for the women’s final between Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova.

Sunday’s final men’s singles match on Centre Court will be historic for a number of reasons.

Berrettini – who will join his compatriots in a major sporting finale as they prepare to face England at Wembley – is the first man or woman from his country to reach a Wimbledon final.

Should Djokovic win the title, he will equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s all-time Grand Slam record.

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