Roland Garros director Amelie Mauresmo apologises for but defends ‘out of context’ comments
Roland Garros tournament director Amelie Mauresmo has addressed her controversial comments on men’s versus women’s tennis.
The newly-instated Roland Garros lead did apologise, but also feels her words were misrepresented.
In a press conference with the general media on Wednesday, Mauresmo suggested that the lack of women’s matches in the Slam’s night session was down to a difference in appeal between men’s and women’s tennis.
She told Tennis Channel: “I want to say sorry to the players that really felt bad about what I said.
“The comments I made were taken out of context.
“The people who know me, who’ve known me on and off the court, throughout my career, throughout everything that I’ve done.
“[They] know I’m a big fighter for equal rights and women’s tennis, women in general.”
Only one of the 10 night session matches in Paris featured a women’s match.
That was the women’s second round battle between 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko and home talent Alizé Cornet on 26th May.
Two-time Slam champion Mauresmo responded quite extensively when asked about the night session factor on Wednesday.
The following quote in particular is what many have latched onto.
She said: “In this era that we are in, I don’t feel bad or unfair, as a woman and former women’s player, saying that right now you have more appeal [in] general, for the men’s matches.”
Mauresmo argues such a comment should not be considered out of context.
However, it is in itself quite a resolute stance directly pitting the general appeal of men’s against women’s tennis, saying the latter is less of a draw.
The former world number one drew a response from current world number one Iga Swiatek for her words.
The Pole said: “I think women’s tennis has a lot of advantages.
“It is a little bit disappointing and surprising because she was also in the WTA.”
In her defence, Mauresmo further explained herself with regards to the tournament scheduling.
She said: “Specifically for the night matches, my say was that because we have one match only, it’s really tougher to schedule a woman’s match because we have to take into consideration the length.
“It’s the fair thing to do for the ticketholders.”
While that may be the case, Mauresmo then admitted that they are now considering solutions and compromises to that limitation.
She added: “We will try to find a better solution to be fair to everyone.
“We tried to modernise the event, move forward.
“There are some adjustments to be made.”
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