The decision is coming from inside the home. Final night time, the French Open’s first ever feminine director and former No. 1 participant Amélie Mauresmo informed the press that males’s tennis has “extra attraction” than the ladies’s sport proper now, which was why 9 of the ten primetime night time classes have been scheduled for males’s matches. Solely a single night time featured a ladies’s match, throughout which France’s Alizé Cornet defeated Jelena Ostapenko. And Mauresmo, in her first yr as the primary feminine director of the event, determined to inform the world that, as a former ladies’s participant, she didn’t suppose that the ladies’s matches deserved high billing.
That is such a disappointing sentiment to listen to from a former star who one would suppose would try to be lifting up and championing the ladies’s sport quite than tearing them down just because the Williams sisters aren’t on the courts for this event. Slightly than assist develop curiosity in ladies’s tennis, Mauresmo has now given voice and legitimacy to all of the trolls on the market who like to say that ladies’s sports activities are, by nature, worse or extra boring or lower-standard than males’s sports activities.
As an alternative of a “who cares” or “no person watched” within the replies to an ESPN tweet about some ladies’s sport or one other, there’s now a direct quotation on the prepared from a former feminine participant about how the ladies’s sport isn’t pretty much as good as the lads’s, even when she simply meant it concerning this particular event.
Present No. 1 and 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek said that she was disenchanted and stunned to listen to Mauresmo’s feedback, saying the ladies’s sport “may be one thing that’s actually interesting and it could actually entice extra individuals.” To must defend your sport and life’s work should be a really disheartening second.
And although the most important of the large names won’t be enjoying this week, how else is the game meant to develop and create new and upcoming stars if nobody is even given the possibility to show themselves on a widely-watched world stage? Final yr’s U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu was completely unknown within the tennis world earlier than her efficiency, however when everybody discovered her story and began following alongside, she turned a family identify for followers of the game.
The event additionally featured upcoming American star Coco Gauff, who’s on the hunt for her first slam victory, Martina Trevisan, who returned to the game after a four-year hiatus wherein she overcame anorexia, and, after all, Swiatek, who’s one win away from tying the longest successful streak in ladies’s tennis since 2000 after notching her thirty fourth win in a row immediately. There’s some attraction for you.
Mauresmo had loads of proficient ladies’s gamers with attention-grabbing and galvanizing narratives to select from, however I suppose it wasn’t thrilling sufficient to earn the prime-time slot. Whereas public curiosity drives these choices to an extent, it is usually the executives’ accountability to pique and broaden public curiosity within the sport.
To actually high it off, Mauresmo was France’s captain within the Billie Jean King Cup after her retirement, named after the well-known participant and pioneer who fought tooth and nail to convey ladies’s tennis into the skilled sports activities sphere. Bit ironic, no?