In a summit clash where World No.1 Novak Djokovic was tipped to rewrite history, Croatian official Marija Cicak entered her name in the record books by officiating the 2021 Wimbledon men’s final on Sunday.
Cicak is the first woman umpire to adjudicate the Wimbledon showdown between Djokovic and Matteo Barrettini at the Centre Court.
Sitting on the famous elevated chair, Cicaak has scripted history by becoming the first woman to umpire the Wimbledon men’s singles final since the Grand Slam event’s inception in 1877.
Cicak, who hails from Croatia was earlier announced as the umpire of the Wimbledon men’s final by the All England Club. Talking about Cicak’s noteworthy stint as an official, the 43-year-old officiated the 2014 Wimbledon women’s final between Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard.
The Croatian also officiated the 2017 women’s doubles final in which Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina defeated Chan Hao-ching and Monica Niculescu. Cicak, a Zagreb native has plied her trade in 15 successive Wimbledon seasons and she has also worked at Olympics in Athens, London, and Rio in 2016.
At the Olympics, Cicak umpired the women’s singles final. The gold badge chair umpire is also a member of the WTA Elite Team. Cicak is a member of the WTA Elite Team for the past nine years.
According to inews.com, Cicak started playing tennis tournaments when she was 12. However, the Croatian opted to give up the sport so that she can focus on officiating. “I decided to stop because here, it’s not so easy to pursue a sports career and university at the same time,” she said in an interview. “It’s a different system than what it is in, say, the United States, and to be honest, I just wanted to focus on other things rather than play tennis. I wanted to just go to school and enjoy officiating,” she added.