French Open night session to start earlier, organisers say

The night session at the French Open will be brought forward by half an hour this year, tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said on Friday.

“It will start at 2000 (local time) with an interactive show and the first point will be played at 2030,” she told a news conference.

Last year, players entered the Court Philippe Chatrier to warm up at 2045 (1845GMT), and the scheduling drew criticism due to the lack of public transportation in the event of a late finish.

The Paris metro stops running around 1:15 am.

Organisers were also criticised for scheduling mostly men’s matches in the flagship match of the day, and Mauresmo would not commit to putting on more women’s matches this year.

“It’s difficult to project before the draw,” she said.

“I don’t hold anything back. It’s the match-ups that will guide us. It would be a mistake to post quotas.”

Mauresmo added that the French Open would acquire the services of a dedicated company to erase insulting messages from social media to protect the players from cyber-harassment.

“It’s great for the mental well-being of the players,” said Mauresmo. It clears the mind. Everyone will be able to come out on the court more freely. I can’t wait to see how the players feel about this service,” she said.

The French Open runs from May 28-June 11.

© Reuters

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