French Open boss Amelie Mauresmo apologises for calling women’s tennis “less appealing” than men’s game

·2-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Amelie Mauresmo has apologised after describing women’s tennis as less “attractive and appealing” than men’s matches.

Mauresmo is the tournament director of the French Open, which hosted its women’s singles semi-finals on Thursday as Poland’s Iga Swiatek continued her stunning run of victories to make the final.

After being pressed on the competition’s decision to elevate only one women’s match to the 10 premier night matches at this year’s Roland Garros, Mauresmo had said: “In this era that we are in right now - and as a woman, a former woman's player, I don't feel bad or unfair saying that - you have more attraction, appeal [in] general, for the men's matches.”

World No1 Swiatek said the comments were “disappointing and surprising”.

And speaking to the Tennis Channel on Thursday, Mauresmo said: "First of all the comments that I made were taken out of the wider picture, out of the context. And I want to say sorry to the players that really felt bad about what I said.

“Again, I think the people who know me, who've known me on and off the court, throughout my career, throughout everything that I've done, know that I'm a big fighter for equal rights and women's tennis, women in general.”

Mauresmo insists men's matches were given priority in the showpiece night session because women's matches are shorter, meaning punters might feel short-changed.

She added: “Concerning the scheduling, specifically for the night matches, my say was that because we have one match only it's really tougher to schedule a woman's match, because we have to take into consideration the length. I feel it's the fair kind of thing to do for the ticket holders.

“Next year, in order to be able to be more fair to the women players - to both categories actually - it would be good to maybe have the possibility to put on two matches, or maybe a women's match plus a doubles match, to try to find a better solution to be fair to everyone.”

Additional reporting by PA Media.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting