Tennis: French Open should 'try more' to boost women's prime time tennis: Tunisia’s Jabeur

AFP , Wednesday 29 May 2024

Ons Jabeur said the French Open must "try more" when it comes to promoting women's tennis in the tournament's prime time spot.

Ons Jabeur
Tunisia's Ons Jabeur celebrates winning her second-round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Colombia's Camila Osorio at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Photo: AP


In 2022 and 2023, only two women's singles matches featured in a total of 20 allocated night time sessions.

"I'm going to get in trouble again, aren't I? Listen, I know they're trying here. I wish they'd try more," said Tunisian world number nine Jabeur after reaching the last 32 by seeing off Camila Osorio in three sets on Wednesday.

"It's not something we'll change in a day. I'm watching TV every day. A lot of men matches more than women, and it is the truth."

Over the first four days of the 2024 tournament, all night sessions featured men's singles -- with world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic, second-ranked Jannik Sinner and three-time major winner Andy Murray featuring.

The fifth on Thursday was set to see Frenchman Gael Monfils -- who also played the Monday night match -- taking on Lorenzo Musetti.

For Jabeur, the standout match on Wednesday was the duel between women's world number one Iga Swiatek and fellow four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka.

However, that tie closed out the afternoon session on the showpiece Court Philippe Chatrier with Sinner's clash against French veteran Richard Gasquet taking the prime time night session.

"Osaka vs Swiatek is a brilliant watch. WTA need to do more to capitalise on these match ups!" wrote Murray on X.

Jabeur is hopeful tournament director Amelie Mauresmo, a former world number one, will succeed in the scheduling balance.

"I'm not gonna lie about it. I think Amelie is doing an amazing job and is trying to change that, but these things, they take time," added Jabeur.

"I wish I can see the change more. I wish I saw Osaka and Iga's match today as a night session. But it's a choice. I understand that. Maybe the prime time is now.

"I will keep pushing and I wish really to see promoting more women's sport in general and women's tennis in general."

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