French Open director claims women’s matchups less appealing


Director of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Director of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)


Director of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)


PARIS (AP) — New French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo, a former No. 1 player, says nine of 10 night session matches at Roland Garros this year involved men because women’s tennis currently has less appeal.

Mauresmo said at a news conference Wednesday that she tried on a daily basis to find a women’s pairing that had the star power or 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,” Mauresmo said.

She is overseeing the clay-court Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

Mauresmo won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006. After retiring as a player, she moved into coaching and worked with Andy Murray among others.

The only women’s match that got the prime-time treatment — new at the French Open this year as part of a deal with a streaming service — was France’s Alizé Cornet’s victory over Jelena Ostapenko.

“In this era that we are in right now, I don’t feel — and as a women, former woman’s player — I don’t feel bad or unfair saying that right now you have more attraction, more attractivity — can you say that? Appeal? That’s the general (factor), for the men’s matches.”

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Director of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/06/web1_128970577-4aeb3806615b417aa36032a60e6ad300.jpgDirector of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Director of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/06/web1_128970577-4d722dede82e4e1eb707b2f19e7b8483.jpgDirector of Roland-Garros former tennis player Amelie Mauresmo attends the draw of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Thursday, May 19, 2022. The French Open tennis tournament starts Sunday May 22. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)