‘Fun for fans, challenging for players’ Alex Corretja explains the addition of night matches in the French Open

French Open has introduced a new set of challenges for the players and took up on some new challenges themselves.

Alex Corretja
Alex Corretja talks about Roland-Garros

The French Open will begin in less than a week, and the tennis world is abuzz with the excitement. Though the women’s field has a clear and heavy favorite as the world number 1, Iga Swiatek, the men’s section has some players to choose from, including the young genius Carlos Alcaraz, the world number 1 and defending champion, Novak Djokovic. The list also includes Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal, with some other top 10 players in the mix.

The French Open has always been challenging with long matches, long waits before scheduled starting times, and the grueling nature of the clay courts. This year some more challenges are waiting for the players. One of the changes which will be quite difficult for the players is the addition of night matches. It would be fun for the spectators but the players will not be pleased with this decision by the organizing committee.

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French Open takes up an interesting challenge

Roland Garros
Roland-Garros

Only one night match will be contested on the Phillipe-Chartier court, unlike the US Open and Australian Open. Former world number 2, Alex Corretja, explains how the night matches change certain dynamics at the Phillipe-Chartier court. The matches could be harder to call once they are played under the floodlights for a variety of reasons. In an interview with Eurosport, he said:

Lighting is always a tricky thing, Definitely the ball is bouncing way lower, and the matches are very difficult to be quick because it’s difficult to hit winners. You need to use a lot of drop shots.”

There are other challenges as explained by Corretja. He said: “If you play long matches, then it’s not that easy to recover for two days after. So it can affect your recovery in the tournament,” 

The spectacle might be worth the trouble for the fans, but there are more challenges because the night match is ticketed separately. There is also the issue of emptying the stadium and re-filling it. Other problems include the delay in day matches as well due to the night-time play.

May challenges await this decision by the organizing committee, and it would be a sight to behold how they tackle these challenges and make this Roland-Garros a treat for the fans.

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