With Swiatek and Osaka, has the tournament missed the ultimate night session to promote women’s tennis?

With Swiatek and Osaka, has the tournament missed the ultimate night session to promote women’s tennis?
With Swiatek and Osaka, has the tournament missed the ultimate night session to promote women’s tennis?

At Roland Garros,

Small doubt at the time of the handshake between Iga Swiatek and her victim of the evening, Naomi Osaka. Should we have stayed for the trophy ceremony after this memorable final? Followed by a glance at the date: May 29, 2024. Ten days too early. The match won by the Pole in three sets, after almost three hours of play and many twists and turns, was just a vulgar 2nd round of this Roland-Garros. The height of heresy, the match was not even scheduled for an evening session. Organizers or broadcasters, who is to blame? Both will have to answer for their actions before the people’s court.

One month before the start of the tournament, Amélie Mauresmo and Gilles Morretton promised, during a press conference, that the evening matches would be scheduled on the basis of sporting interest. “It’s the athlete who will decide on the evening’s lineup. If we have a great women’s match we will offer it, if it’s a great men’s match, it will be a men’s match. » With all the love we have for Richard Gasquet and the infinite respect due to Jannik Sinner, no one will succeed in making us believe that the clash between a genius of the past and the new terror of the circuit was better than 4 Greats Slams against 4 Grand Slams.

The opposite scenario of the two meetings – Richard was unable to do anything, as expected – only worsened an observation established the day before: if Swiatek vs Osaka is not a night session, no match in the women’s draw never will be. We already have to be sure that the poster is worth it and that it lasts long enough to be worth the price paid by the spectators, at which point the women’s draw will have better to offer in the first week for an evening match , even if no one could have predicted the surreal level in Osaka on Wednesday?

Questioned during the day on this subject, Ons Jabeur launched into a balancing act which consisted of defending the interests of women’s tennis while sparing Mauresmo, whom she judges to be in good faith.

I know that Amélie is doing her best to put women’s tennis in the spotlight. I would like to see more. I would also like, for example, the Iga match to be a night session, but hey… I will continue to push in this direction, to promote women’s sport and women’s tennis in particular. » »

Osaka is ironic, Swiatek doesn’t care

Naomi Osaka, for her part, played the subtle card of false naivety. “I don’t really know how the programs are organized here, I don’t really know if the evening matches are prime time. Nadal, in general, plays at this time, I thought it was time for the favorites. I don’t know. »

Iga Swiatek, on the other hand, does not care about gender equality in tennis and happily adapts to the program that the organizers have reserved for her. “The tournament knows that I am the type of player who likes to play during the day. […] So I don’t have anything bad to say about it. I don’t have much to say about this. I don’t finish my match at midnight, I can go to bed at a decent hour, so I’m pretty happy with that. » It’s not Serena Williams who wants.

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