New French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo, a former No. 1 player, says nine of 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,” Mauresmo said.
She is overseeing the clay-court Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
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.
The only women’s match that got the prime-time treatment — new at the French Open this year as part of a deal with a streaming service — was France’s Alizé 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.”