Chris Evert, a tennis analyst for Eurosport, has long advocated for women’s equality in the sport. She also values the game’s numerous traditions. However, one aspect of this year’s French Open that disturbed her the most was the lack of night matches for women.
The French Open has been chastised for scheduling night matches, with only one women’s match taking place during the grand slam’s prime time schedule thus far. Only one of the ten singles matches on Court Phillipe Chatrier planned for the night-time slot was a women’s match between Alize Cornet and Jelena Ostapenko. In view of that, in an interview with Eurosport, Chris Evert voiced her displeasure openly.
“We have equal prize money, we should have equal time”- Chris Evert
This year’s Roland-Garros should have had equal men’s and women’s night matches, according to Chris Evert. The 18-times-Grand Slam champion also slammed the new tournament director Amelie Mauresmo. “I think one big mistake was the night match and it was all men. I think there was one women’s match and it was all men. That’s not right. We have equal prize money, we should have equal time. I wish she would have gone to the US Open and looked what they do. Keep it equal because to me that was a glaring weakness in the tournament. So, all and all I think she did a pretty good job, but that has to change, “ she told Eurosport.
Amelie Mauresmo, the first female tournament director at the French Open, claimed earlier that nine of the ten-night sessions at Roland Garros featured men’s matches because women’s tennis now has less “appeal” than men’s tennis. When asked about the decision-making process, Mauresmo explained in French that the fact that each night session only had one match made it “more difficult” to have that match be a women’s match. At the U.S. Open, for example, night sessions normally feature one women’s match and one men’s match.
She said, “In this era that we are in right now, I don’t feel — and as a woman, former women’s player, I don’t feel bad or unfair saying that, right now — you have more … appeal. That’s the general (reason) for the men’s matches. My goal was, when I was doing the schedule every day, to try and see, from the first round when the draw came out … ‘what match in the woman’s draw can I put there?’ honestly.”