Roland-Garros: Why “night sessions” are not unanimous

The 59th Djokovic – Christmas in history takes place this Tuesday, in a night session on the Philippe-Chatrier track in the quarterfinals of Roland-Garros. Sessions that are not entirely satisfied with athletes, spectators or television viewers …

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Since when, who and how much?

Implemented during the 2021 edition, the ” evening sessions »Concerns ten matches of the tournament. The broadcast rights have been awarded (until 2023) to Amazon Prime Video (about 15 million euros), in addition to the exclusivity of the meetings that take place on the Simonne-Mathieu track. The schedule for these evening sessions is at the discretion of the tournament management, but it’s easy to imagine that the money Amazon pays has to weigh a bit in the balance.

How’s it going ?

From the end of the last game of the day, change of audience. Lucky holders of “Chatrier” tickets during the day no longer have access to the stadium after the penultimate game. Everyone out, place in the afternoon audience. Two sessions, two box offices: this easily explains the attendance record that the Roland-Garros 2022 will obviously break on the eve of the final (we are still talking about more than 600,000 spectators this year against 520,000 in 2019).

How much does it cost ?

Expensive for a single game. The prices of the latter night session Dane Holger Rune will face Norwegian Casper Ruud from € 95 to € 385 this Wednesday evening. It is approximately the same rank as for a daily entry where you will be entitled to three or four games at the center plus all played on the adjacent courts. And although this year a bit of live music (rendered mostly by electronic music groups like Yuksek, Boston Bun or Bon Entendeur for example) precedes the entry of players, the night at Roland is not for all pockets. We don’t count the Spritz for € 15 or the burger and fries menu for € 19!

How do the players feel?

None of them are a priori, totally opposed to these long-standing night sessions at the Australian Open or the US Open. Due to playing conditions, some, Rafael Nadal at the helm, prefer to play during the day. For a fair recovery, others are willing to play once or twice in the evening, but no more. Carlos Alcaraz did not hide it: ” I’m not saying it bothers me to play late, but the truth is you have less time to rest and it all ends very late. Because even if you finish at midnight, you have to look at everything behind it: dinner, a physiotherapist and also the adrenaline of the party that doesn’t allow you to fall asleep quickly. »

Time? Good or bad idea?

The ” night sessions » Steal from the non-Amazon Prime spectator great tennis moments. Certainly. This year, he was deprived of two matches of the Alcaraz phenomenon, he almost did not attend the farewell of Gilles Simon to Roland, he did not see the elimination of the Parisian love Hugo Gaston. And without a gesture from Amazon, heavily pressured by the FFT, he could have been deprived of the confrontation between the two legends “Rafa” and “Djoko”. As for the spectators, in addition to the price spent on a single match, they are no strangers to a bad surprise, as the Cornet – Ostapenko on May 26 folded three dry sets and in 1:41! The set is expensive, right?

If these evening sessions have not yet fully entered the DNA of the French tennis lover, but they are beginning to write their story.

Read on too

DIRECT. Roland-Garros: Rafael Nadal regains the lead over Djokovic

Roland-Garros: Alexander Zverev puts an end to Carlos “El Fenómeno” Alcaraz’s show

Roland-Garros: Gauff wins his first Grand Slam semifinal at the age of 18

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