all scores

French Open director cites lack of ‘appeal’ of women’s tennis in scheduling disparity

(Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo has come under fire for her comments during a Wednesday press conference in which she said that women’s tennis has less “appeal” than men’s tennis.

The issue came up when Mauresmo was asked about scheduling just one women’s match during the night sessions out of a possible 10. The other nine slots featured men’s matches, including Tuesday night’s matchup between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

“In this era that we are in, I don’t feel bad or unfair saying that right now you have more attraction, more attractivity [in] general, for the men’s matches,” Mauresmo said.

Mauresmo is a former world No. 1 player on the women’s circuit, having won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. Following her playing career, Mauresmo began coaching including Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka and most recently Lucas Pouille.

An International Tennis Hall of Fame member, Mauresmo was named to the tournament post in December. She replaced Guy Forget, who had held the role since 2016. She’s the first female tournament director of Roland-Garros.

Mauresmo said she attempted to slot women’s matches into the night games but that it was “tough.”

“My goal was when I was doing the schedule every day to try and see, and from the first round when the draw came out, to try and see what match in the women’s draw I can put there. The confrontation or the start that I could put there,” she said. “It was tough for more than one night to find the match of the day. A one-match night session is tough on this.”