Azarenka criticizes French Open


Former world number one Victoria Azarenka criticised French Open organisers on Sunday for scheduling men’s matches in all but one of the night slots so far this year.

The two-time Grand Slam champion also said practice courts were not prepared properly and complained that organisers of the claycourt major were unhelpful.

So far, six of the seven night sessions, for which Amazon have the exclusive television broadcasting rights in France, have featured men’s matches, with only Serena Williams being asked to take the court shortly before sunset.

The session, in place for the first time, is being played in an empty stadium because of the nine p.m. local curfew due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What concerns me is that when somebody from the French federation are continuously trying to say that there’s equality and only pointing to prize money, which is true. Everything else, I wouldn’t even agree for a little with that.

And that’s disappointing,” Azarenka told a news conference after her fourth-round defeat, later adding that she was not targeting a specific person.

“I think there is enough examples over the years where we’ve heard remarks towards women, where we’ve seen two women’s semi-final matches playing on the outside courts,” the Belarusian added.—AFP