French Open: Amelie Mauresmo apologises for ‘out of context’ comments

Amelie Mauresmo
Amelie Mauresmo won the Wimbledon and the Australian Open titles during her playing career

French Open director Amelie Mauresmo apologised for saying women’s matches were less appealing than men’s and said she had been quoted “out of context”.

She had faced criticism after only one of this year’s 10 night sessions featured a women’s match.

Her comment that men’s matches had “more attraction and appeal” upset women’s world number one Iga Swiatek.

“I want to say sorry to the players that really felt bad about what I said,” Frenchwoman Mauresmo, 42, said.

“The comments I made were taken out of context,” the two-time Grand Slam champion told the Tennis Channel.

“The people who know me, who’ve known me on and off the court, throughout my career, throughout everything that I’ve done, know I’m a big fighter for equal rights and women’s tennis, women in general.”

Poland’s Swiatek, who will play American Coco Gauff in Saturday’s French Open final, has played all of her six matches in the daytime.

The only night session to feature a women’s match was last Thursday, when France’s Alize Cornet beat Latvian 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko in three sets.

Alize Cornet
The second-round match between Alize Cornet and Jelena Ostapenko lasted one hour 41 minutes

Former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Mauresmo, in her first year as tournament director at the clay-court Grand Slam, said it was “more difficult” to put women’s matches on late with the evening session only including one match.

Mauresmo said she was looking to change the format of the sessions.

“I didn’t decide to have this one match,” she added. “Next year to be more fair to the women’s players it would be good to maybe have the possibility to put two matches or maybe a women’s match plus a doubles match.

“Concerning the scheduling, specifically for the night matches, my say was that because we have one match only, it’s really tougher to schedule a woman’s match because we have to take into consideration the length. It’s the fair thing to do for the ticketholders.

“We will try to find a better solution to be fair to everyone. We tried to modernise the event, move forward and there are some adjustments to be made.”

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