Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, June 10, 2024
Photo credit: AP

Roland Garros pulled the plug on women's night sessions this year.

Night sightlines may not change dramatically next year either, said Roland Garros tournament director Amélie Mauresmo.

King Carlos: Alcaraz Fights Off Zverev for First Roland Garros Crown

In her post-tournament presser, Mauresmo was asked why all Roland Garros night sessions featured men's matches and no women's matches.

Hall of Famer Mauresmo said since the tournament only schedules one match at night, the decision comes down to two primary factors:

1. Does the match feature a star player who can fill Court Philippe Chatrier stadium?

2. Will the match be compelling and how long will it last?

"Well, we only have one match, and we have constraints given the time it takes to play a match," Mauresmo told the media in Paris. "I repeat what I said last year. First, we have the big names that we're looking for. We're looking for the best players to play at night in the evening.

"Then the time that the match will last, that's what we try and guarantee for the spectators in the evening. But nothing's engraved in stone. Things can change. It's one single match that we play at night, and therefore we have to make choices. That's why this year we wanted to have only men playing at night."

You can understand why tournament organizers would not want a 68-minute blow-out that world No. 1 Iga Swiatek unleashed on Jasmine Paolini in the final as the sole night session match—particularly since Mauresmo banned booze sales within stadiums after Belgian David Goffin reported a fan spit at him.

Othe other hand, Swiatek's spirited comeback from 2-5 down in the final set saving match point to edge Naomi Osaka in the second round was one of the most pulsating matches of the tournament and spanned two hours, 57 minutes.

Some players, including Daniil Medvedev, suggested host broadcaster Amazon dictates, or least plays a major role, in night-session scheduling decisions.

Former Wimbledon winner Mauresmo shot down suggestions that Amazon asked for a women's night match replying "No, no, no. Not at all."

So what's the solution?

Mauresmo said the tournament has considered going to two night-session matches, as the US Open does at Arthur Ashe Stadium, however due to the notoriously tardy Parisian fan base, she suggests it could mean thousands of empty seats at the start, which creates another issue.

"We asked ourselves the questions two years ago," Mauresmo said. "We thought maybe two matches is something to be considered, but given the culture we have in Paris, people don't come at 7:00 p.m. on the stadium.

"Therefore, we would have other problems to face then if we had two matches."

Asked how Roland Garros can prevent the debacle of a half-empty stadium for the Alexander Zverev v. Casper Ruud men's semifinal which came on Friday after Carlos Alcaraz's epic five-set win over Jannik Sinner, Mauresmo said solutions are being discussed.

"So today, well, I'm not going to give you the miracle solution," Mauresmo said. "I'm not going to be sharing the ideas we've been thinking about or I've been thinking about. We have to discuss this. We have to debate. We have to respect sports, but also the people who work for operations.

"And of course we're not satisfied with what we saw on Friday for the second semi. It's going to be one of the topics, not the only topic, but one of the many topics that we will be debriefing."

Photo credit: AP