New French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo says nine of the 10 night session matches at Roland Garros this year involved men because women’s tennis currently has less appeal.
Mauresmo said at a news conference Wednesday that she tried on a daily basis to find a women’s pairing that had the star power or matchup worthy of being highlighted in the separate session that began at 8:45 p.m. local time in Court Philippe Chatrier.
“I admit it was tough,” said Mauresmo, a former No. 1 player who is overseeing the clay-court Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
The only women’s match that got the prime-time treatment was Alize Cornet’s victory over Jelena Ostapenko.
“In this era that we are in right now, I don’t feel — and as a woman, former woman’s player — I don’t feel bad or unfair saying that right now you have more attraction, more attractivity — can you say that? Appeal? That’s the general [factor], for the men’s matches,” Mauresmo said.
Mauresmo won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. After retiring as a player, she moved into coaching and worked with Andy Murray, among others.