For her first year as director of Roland-Garros, Amélie Mauresmo is not spared and has to face a hell of a controversy. Indeed, the programming of the night sessions was strongly criticized, in particular by Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who fought a battle until 1:15 a.m. on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.
Undeniably, the 2022 edition of Roland Garros will remain marked by the programming of the night sessions. Several players have complained of a lack of fairness starting with Carlos Alcaraz who had played two of his first three matches in the evening. This is also the reason why the shock of the quarter-finals between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was chosen for Tuesday’s night session. And this choice has not failed to cause controversy. Before the meeting, the Spaniard had shown his reluctance regarding the schedule. ” I don’t like night sessions, I’ve said that before. I don’t like playing on clay at night », let go Nadal earlier in the tournament. And despite his magnificent victory, the Mallorcan again showed his skepticism about the programming of matches at night. ” I can’t complain because we have two days off, but if you only have one… Or like Zverev who has to play the Madrid final the day after (an evening session), c is a big problem. I understand this part of the business, the televisions pay dearly to have these matches at that time, which allows the tournaments, and therefore the players, to earn money. You have to find a good balance. Starting the match at 9 p.m., on clay, in the best of five sets, it can last a long time “, explained Rafael Nadal, imitated by Novak Djokovic : “ To be honest, I think the night sessions start too late. But again, television decides. This is the world we live in. The broadcasters give the money. They decide. ” In effect, Amazonwith its platform Premium Videohas the exclusivity on the matches in night session and therefore asks to broadcast the most attractive posters, to the great displeasure of France Televisions who had displayed his anger through his president Delphine Ernotte. ” This decision by the French Tennis Federation deeply shocks me. This is a very bad blow to our partnership, as we have been involved for years in exposing and popularizing the tournament with all French people. I find it extremely shocking to favor an American player like Amazon to the detriment of public service, especially on an event financed in whole or in part by public money “, she annoyed in the columns of the Figaro.
Tonight is already the last night session 😢
Throwback to the We Are Tennis Fan Academy which has thrilled us over the past 10 days.
— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 1, 2022
Mauresmo releases his truths
And so it is to Amelie Mauresmo to deal with this controversy. For her first year as Director of Roland Garros, the former world number 1 is served. But in the columns of THE TEAMshe was keen to put things in perspective, responding first to the release of Delphine Ernotte. ” I met Delphine Ernotte yesterday (Tuesday). But between the time I asked to see her and the time we saw each other, she had given her interview. As far as I’m concerned, I work face-to-face and not through the media. From our interview, there is a better understanding on both sides. But I must clarify that everything she said was not true. For this match, there was no good solution. Everything was much blurrier than on the other days. There was a lot of discussion, pressure and expectations. We were in the grey, much more than in the white or black. We tried to take what was the best solution. Or the least worst, it depends… “, respond Amelie Mauresmo before explaining his choice concerning the programming of the quarter-final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. ” It’s not simple. It is clear that I am learning a lot in terms of programming. I wonder… We say to ourselves that it’s just 10 matches and that there is a day of recovery behind, even two as far as Rafael Nadal is concerned, who will only play again on Friday. But it is clear that we will ask ourselves the question of the organization of nights at the end of the tournament, when taking stock. In any case, I do not question their success or the enthusiasm of the public. Tuesday, the stadium was full and hardly anyone left before the end. I also have very good feedback from viewers who are happy to be able to see a tennis match in the evening after their day’s work. “, she adds. Finally, the director of the Parisian Grand Slam responds to a final controversy concerning the low number of women’s matches in night session. Indeed, since the start of the tournament, out of the 10 matches scheduled for the evening, only one concerned the women’s table. But Amelie Mauresmo has no regrets. ” Anyway, I have no regrets about it. With only one match scheduled at night, it was complicated to offer a women’s match given the opposition in the first week “, she concludes. The message got through.