Jessica Pegula calls out French Open over 'disappointing' move

Pegula wants WTA players to receive more primetime opportunities.

by Dzevad Mesic
Jessica Pegula calls out French Open over 'disappointing' move

World No 3 Jessica Pegula called out the French Open organizers over their selection of the night session matches at this year's tournament. Last year, the men featured in the majority of primetime night session matches at Roland Garros.

This year, only one of 10 primetime matches was a WTA match. After scheduling six ATP matches through the first six primetime night session matches, the French Open organizers faced criticism.- with some accusing the organizers of very openly preferring ATP over WTA matches.

For the seventh primetime night session match, the French Open organizers scheduled world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

Pegula 'disappointed' with the French Open night session selection

"Only one of the 10 night sessions featured WTA players - that was when Aryna Sabalenka played Sloane Stephens in the fourth round on Sunday.

We want to see more women in those spots, to highlight good tennis matches if we can, so it hasn't been ideal that there has only been one primetime match for us. I'm a member of the WTA players' council and this issue has been raised a lot.

Last year, when there was also only one women's night match, we spoke to tournament organisers about it. That makes this year more disappointing because we tried to address it. We haven't seen any improvement. We're not sure what has happened," Pegula wrote in her BBC column.

One of the most frequent arguments is that the men play best-of-five matches and that ticket payers get more tennis for their primetime ticket. But Pegula underlines that the women at least deserve to get a chance to prove that they can deliver a show in primetime.

"I'm not saying every match is going to be an amazing match but if we don't have the opportunity, how are we ever going to show it? We know people like women's tennis, and the fans like to watch it, but it feels like our product is undervalued here and in Europe in general," Pegula said.

Jessica Pegula French Open