Roland Garros Organizers Respond To Scheduling Criticism With First Women's Night Match

Roland Garros Organizers Respond To Scheduling Criticism With First Women's Night Match

by Sebastian Dahlman

At the Grand Slams there's always the main story, and then the side story, and at this year's Roland Garros, it's been the night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Somehow viewed as 'prestigious', there's only one match that is played during the night session on the biggest court at the Roland Garros, and it's been the main point of discussions during the 2023 event.

Every one of the first seven night session matches on the Court Philippe-Chatrier was given to men. With Gael Monfils' withdrawal and subsequent replacement with a match between Alexander Zverev and Alex Molcan, it was theoretically eight ATP matches in the 'prestigious' slot on the Court Philippe-Chatrier.

But the voices started getting louder and louder as there was a big ask for a WTA match in that specific spot. Yet, things weren't as easy as they initially seemed to be, as tournament director Amalie Mauresmo defended her choices.

Without a doubt, two-time Roland Garros champion, the World No. 1, and currently the defending champion, Iga Swiatek, is the biggest favourite to have a match in that spot. However, there are immediately two problems.

The first one is the fact that the young Pole admitted that she's requesting the tournament organizers to have a day match. Another problem is, that she's destroying one opponent after another, as was the case in her third-round match that she won 6-0, 6-0 in 52 minutes.

A match like that may not be particularly interesting for the crowd, especially considering the theoretical return on their investment in the pricey ticket. But with every day and another ATP match on the court, the tournament organizers had to make a decision, and they did it.

On the eighth day of the competition, a WTA match will be played during the night session on the Court Philippe-Chatrier. It will be the current World No. 2, Aryna Sabalenka, and Sloane Stephens, who was one of the players talking about the issue.

After her third-round match in which she defeated Yulia Putinsteva, the American talked about her upcoming match with Sabalenka, who had her share of uncomfortable moments at the tournament, and Stephens shared her wish of playing 'on a good court'.

"I think that it will be a great match. Obviously hope we're on a good court, and just really looking forward to it. It's obviously another opportunity to go out there and play and try to make the quarters of a Grand Slam. Who doesn't want to do that?"

Funnily, the match will be played on the best possible court and at the best possible time. With the first WTA match in the 'prestigious' spot, fans will be closely following how the situation develops and if we'll see another women's match during the night session on the Court Philippe-Chatrier.


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