This led to further debate as to why nine of this year’s 10 evening fixtures at Roland Garros included only men. Two-time major champion Amelie Mauresmo—the first woman to direct the tournament—responded by saying “it was tough” to find women’s match-ups—which play by a best-of-three format—that had the same star appeal as their male counterparts.
But Mats Wilander and Tim Henman believe there’s a compromise to be found, which would avoid the same risk of matches going deep into the night. It’s their suggestion there’s a better balance to be struck between men’s, women’s and doubles matches while maintaining the same draw for fans.
“Two out of three sets, what are you going to have a one-hour night session? So, it’s not because it’s women and men, it’s because it’s two out of three and three out of five,” said Wilander on Eurosport. “I think that they could start a little earlier, play a women’s match, for sure, and then have a doubles afterwards so that the programme is a minimum of three hours, then it’s ok – but at this moment, putting a women’s match on at 9pm that could end in an hour, I think that’s too risky.”
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