Ons Jabeur - Roland Garros 2024

Ons Jabeur hits out at Roland Garros scheduling: We deserve better

Ons Jabeur has criticised the scheduling at Roland Garros this year, after the two-time Wimbledon finalist played her quarter-final at 11am in Paris.

Jabeur had reached her second consecutive quarter-final at Roland Garros, before succumbing to a three set defeat to US Open champion Coco Gauff.

And it appears that the Tunisian is frustrated with not only the scheduling of her quarter-final match, but the scheduling at the tournament as a whole.

“I have a lot to say on that topic,” said Jabeur. “As you said, 10 night matches without any women playing. I don’t expect any women to play in the evening, but frankly, playing a quarter-final at 11am is really such a chore.

“We deserve to be here [in the afternoon]. Playing in the afternoon is better. There is going to be more people watching us and the stadiums are crowded. Well, the VIP is, well, you know, as usual.”

The world No.9 added, “But I really hope, that I can see the contract negotiated with [Amazon] Prime. I really don’t understand the ins and outs, even for men. Playing that late for men after midnight is not a good thing. We saw yesterday how Novak [Djokovic] was suffering with his knee. And this, because he couldn’t really recover well? I think for all players, men, women, we deserve better than that. We deserve a better scheduling.”

Night sessions have been a big topic of conversation at Roland Garros once again this year, with none of the 11 days featuring a single women’s match this year.

This follows on from the introduction of night sessions in 2022, with only two women’s matches ever being featured in the slot depicted as ‘the match of the day’.

Inside the baseline…

Some may say that Ons Jabeur’s words come in the heat of the moment after a disappointing defeat, but she has been outspoken on the topic throughout the tournament. Not only have women not been selected for any night sessions matches, but they have often also been put as the opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier, when the crowd is usually quite empty and sometimes soulless – which is what Jabeur is referring to when expressing her frustrations about the 11am quarter-final against Coco Gauff. Basically, something needs to change.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.