PARIS (AP) — Amelie Mauresmo, a former No. 1 player who is in her first year as the French Open's first female tournament director, said Wednesday that nine of the 10 night sessions at Roland Garros involved men's matches because women's tennis currently has less "appeal."
Speaking at the traditional second-week news conference to recap the clay-court Grand Slam tournament, Mauresmo said she tried on a daily basis to find a women's pairing that had the star power or a 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," said Mauresmo, a 42-year-old from France who first topped the WTA rankings in 2004 and returned to that spot after winning the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006.
Her last major tournament was the 2009 U.S. Open. After retiring as a player, Mauresmo moved into coaching and worked with Andy Murray, Lucas Pouille and Marion Bartoli, among others, and was France's captain for the team competition now called the Billie Jean King Cup.
This year's French Open began on May 22 and will end on Sunday. The last of the 10 night sessions was scheduled for Wednesday, and the only women's match that got the prime-time treatment — part of a deal with a streaming service — was France's Alizé Cornet's victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the second round.