Amelie Mauresmo, the French Open tournament director, has apologized for comments which stated that women’s tennis was not as appealing as the men’s game.
She also went on to add that her comments were taken out of context.
Mauresmo made the remarks as she answered questions about the scheduling of matches with the men’s bracket taking all the night slots except one.
One night match has been on the program of the claycourt Grand Slam every day at 2100 local time (1900GMT) from the first Monday until the quarter-finals.
Nine out of the ten games scheduled as a night session have been men’s matches, raising questions about how women have been getting the short end of the stick at major tournaments.
In response to questions about scheduling, Mauresmo said men’s matches have more “appeal.”
“First of all the comments that I made were taken out of the wider picture, out of the context,” former Grand Slam champion Mauresmo told Tennis Channel on Thursday.
“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.”
Amelie Mauresmo, a former player herself, drew the ire of many for her comments including the world no.1 Iga Swiatek.
But Mauresmo maintained that it was difficult to put women’s only matches on the schedule for spectators with a single ticket for the evening but added that the tournament would look into tweaking the format next year.
“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,” Mauresmo said.
“It’s the fair thing to do for the ticketholders.
“Next year to be more fair to the women’s players it would be good to maybe have the possibility to put two matches or maybe a women’s match plus a doubles match.”