Former world No 1 Victoria Azarenka has criticised a lack of gender equality in the scheduling at this year’s French Open, following her fourth-round exit at Roland Garros.
Although there is no disparity in prize money between the men and women in Paris, six of the first seven matches scheduled for the marquee night sessions have been chosen from the men’s draw.
“What concerns me is when somebody from the French federation is continuously trying to say that there’s equality and only pointing to prize money, which is true,” Azarenka told reporters.
“Everything else, I wouldn’t even agree for a little with that, and that is disappointing,” added the two-time Grand Slam champion.
The French Open have introduced daily night sessions at Roland Garros for the first time in the tournament’s history, and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams took on Irina-Camelia Begu in the very first evening clash last Monday.
The last six nights have been headlined by matches from the men’s draw – a run that will be halted on Monday, when defending champion Iga Swiatek continues her title defence against 18-year-old Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk.
Nevertheless, Azarenka referenced the 2019 tournament to illustrate her grievances, when Court Philippe Chatrier was reserved exclusively for the men, despite all the semi-finals being played on the same day.”I think there is enough examples over the years where we’ve heard remarks towards women, where we’ve seen two women’s semi-final matches playing on the outside courts. (Sky)