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King: Roland-Garros should have more women’s night matches

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PARIS – Tennis Hall of Famer and Equal Rights Advocate Billie Jean King Thinks the French Open Should Have Scheduled More Women’s Matches for the High-Attention Night Sessions of the Grand Slam Tournament – both for the sake of fairness and because it’s the best way to draw more attention to the players.

King also told a press conference at Roland Garros on Saturday that she believed new tournament director Amelie Mauresmo would change that for 2023.

Only one of the 10 night sessions at this year’s tournament featured women.

When Mauresmo was asked about it on Wednesday, she said it was because men’s tennis had more “appeal” at the moment and it was difficult for her to find star players or high-powered matchups. in the female painting to highlight.

“It will stay that way if we don’t have more matches, that’s for sure,” King said.

“You have to put them on prime time, and you have to understand that, and you want to give equal opportunity to both genders. Always. You always want to make sure that you’re doing the right thing for each person,” a- she said, “They should have the same number of women’s matches as men’s.”

The 78-year-old American was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987 for a playing career that included time at No. 1 and 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 in singles. She was inducted again last year along with the other members of the Original 9 who laid the foundations of the women’s professional tennis circuit in the 1970s.

“If we continue to treat each other like second-class citizens, we will remain second-class citizens. You want everyone to feel important. We should have more matches,” King said, “but I think Amelie will take care of that next year.”

On Friday, King received France’s highest civilian honour, the Legion of Honor, in a ceremony at the presidential Elysee Palace at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron. She has been recognized for her contributions to women’s sports, gender equality and LGBTQ rights.

At a ceremony at Roland Garros between the women’s semi-finals on Thursday, King was honored by the French Tennis Federation for her playing career and advocacy work. It is the 50th anniversary of his 1972 championship at Roland-Garros.

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