Roland-Garros: Does women’s tennis play in the second division?


SOf the ten “night sessions” currently organized for this edition of Roland-Garros 2022, only one match was dedicated to women’s tennis. If Alizé Cornet and Jelena Ostapenko had Philippe-Chatrier’s nightly honors, no other player could be nominated by the broadcasters and the organization. If the big names in the ATP, such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, are logically striking, the younger generation, such as Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune, is also ahead of the players.

One wonders whether, after the end of the French course, the Roland-Garros women’s tournament is still underway, so we know little. And it wasn’t just the TVs that shunned the players: during the first few rounds, we almost never saw the Chatrier or Lenglen well-filled when they came out on the court. After the thinning of Jeanjean and Parry on the side of tricolor tennis, unfortunately anonymity has returned.

A delicate equation for the organization

Amélie Mauresmo, the new director of the tournament, is playing a dangerous game of balance in terms of match schedule. If you want to promote more and more women’s games, you are facing a sad reality: the television is especially demanding Christmas & cie. “The problem, in fact, is to put the matches that interest more people at the best time. As soon as we have beautiful posters for the male part, for the female part, of course we will put them forward. Of course, we will respond to the demand of television and the public for these parties to be in front of the stage. It’s also up to us to put all this in place so that people and the audience, the viewers, really have that reflection. We have a responsibility to promote it in a fair way, even though we know that men’s tennis is going through an incredible period right now, “said the former Wimbledon winner at Eurosport.

How can this increasingly pronounced aspect of incognito be explained? The current women’s circuit may, however, feature the appearance of a great champion like Iga Swiatek. The one who just turned 21 was revealed in 2020 winning Roland-Garros. This year’s undisputed world number one still doesn’t have the size of her brilliant predecessors, like Serena Williams, Justine Henin’s regularity, or even Maria Sharapova’s aura. If Swiatek still has time to achieve equivalent status, the Pole illustrates in spite of herself a WTA looking for a second wind at the level of her charismatic figures. Unless you’re a connoisseur, no one can name the top 5 on the women’s circuit today.

Behind Swiatek, the desert …

Hard to secure a place in the elite of women’s tennis. Prodigy Naomi Osaka struggled to confirm her outbreak due to difficult-to-digest pressure. Ons Jabeur, feeling since the beginning of the year, could not pass the first round in Porte d’Auteuil, proof that the chronic instability of women’s tennis continues there. Ashleigh Barty, who won the last Australian Open, announced she would retire from the sport at just 25 last March. We are almost looking forward to the return of Serena Williams to rekindle the flame. Disappeared from the tracks for more than a year, the American keeps the mystery about her reappearance, she who still dreams of equaling the 40-year-old Margaret Smith Court in the number of Grand Slam titles won.

READ ALSORoland-Garros: meanwhile, Roger Federer …

Beyond the absence of headliners, the evolution of the proposed game is also questioned. In 2017, in an interview with Pointthe 20 yearse World Cup Catherine Tanvier was not tender with the current players and regretted too many stereotypes in her game. “Before, we relied a lot more on building points. From now on we are witnessing a succession of unforced errors and winning points. In fact, many sectors of the game have jumped. Volleyball, smash, slice, sprint, slides. Some don’t know how to move, even run. These are technical details. These girls are mentored by coaches who keep them in very small play areas, which effectively leads to the dumbest tennis ever. All that remains is to wait for new players capable of making a show, but Amazon’s “night sessions” run the risk of concentrating for a while on the dominant figures in the ATP.

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