Iga Swiatek, the top seed, said it was “disappointing and surprising” to hear Amelie Mauresmo, the tournament director for the French Open, suggest women’s matches were not as interesting as men’s matches. Mauresmo’s comment has spread like a wildfire with people and players from all over the world criticizing the tournament director for expressing her thoughts on women’s games. Mauresmo has already apologized for her words suggesting her words were taken out of context.
Only one of the ten night sessions of this year’s event had a women’s match, drawing criticism from Mauresmo, a former world number one. Swiatek, a 21-year-old Pole, has played all five of her bouts during the day. Last Thursday, France’s Alize Cornet defeated Latvian 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko in three sets in the only night session with a women’s match. Women’s matches were “more challenging” to schedule late, according to Mauresmo. The Frenchwoman claimed that men’s bouts had greater allure and appeal, and that she struggled to identify a confrontation or star to highlight in women’s matches.
“It is a little bit disappointing and surprising because she was also in the WTA. From my point of view, for every player it’s more convenient to play at a normal hour, but for sure I want to entertain and I also want to show my best tennis in every match. So I think it’s kind of the personal opinion of every person if they like men’s tennis or women’s tennis more, or if they like them equally. And some may say that it’s unpredictable and girls are not consistent. But on the other hand it may also be something that is really appealing and it may really attract more people. So it depends on the personal views of some people.” expressed Swiatek
“I want to say sorry to the players that really felt bad about what I said. The comments I made were taken out of context. 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.” the two-time Grand Slam champion said in the form of an apology.
Mauresmo will try to find a better solution to be fair to everyone. The association has tried to modernize the event, move forward and there are some adjustments to be made to favor and cater to a better sporting experience.