Scheduling for Friday at Roland Garros has hit the headlines.
Ladies semi-finals will no longer be played on Court Philippe Chatrier which is the main court at Roland Garros with 15,000 seats.
Instead they have been moved to an outside court which is accessible via ground pass.
Ash Barty will take on Amanda Anisimova on Court Suzanne Lenglen which has 10,000 seats where as Johanna Konta will take on Marketa Vondrousova on Court Simone Mathieu which holds only 5000 spectators causing outrage.
This is mainly due to the rain delay on Wednesday which saw no play at all on site at Roland Garros but it lies deeper than that.
It all comes down to money.
When tickets were released the FFT sold each men’s semi-final as an individual ticket on Court Phillipe Chatrier. They have sold a full house of 15,000 for both semi-finals so have no choice but to play on Chatrier.
However, for the women’s tickets they don’t sell tickets for the individual matches hence why they have made way but is it fair?
With rain expected on Friday as well the FFT have done what they had no choice to do but at the same time if they hadn’t sold invidiual tickets play could have been distributed more fairly.
Think of it like this, if it were Halep, Osaka, Serena and Pliskova in the semi-finals for example would they have put them on a 5000 seater? Absolutely not.
What about people who bought a ticket wanting to see the women’s semi-finals? Their chance is slimmer now that you can enter with a ground pass.
What annoys me the most is there was a better choice. All four ladies are taking part in their first semi-final in Paris and what type of message does this send?
Play for some reason on Chatrier doesn’t begin until almost 1pm tomorrow with Federer v Nadal followed by Thiem v Djokovic but the women’s semi-finals have to begin at 11am on the outside courts and will probably be done by the time the men begin.
Equality is something we strive for in sport and now we have a situation where the women have been totally disrespected. Only one of the women’s semi-finals will be televised as they begin at the same time where as both men’s semi-finals will be televised as it is one after the other.
WTA Chief Steve Simon and former French Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo have hit out at this decision.
The FFT have shot themselves in the foot. Selling individual tickets for mens semi-final matches is just greed and sends out the message that the women don’t matter at all.
The scheduling should have been done in the interest of fairness with one mens and one women’s match on Chatrier and Lenglen.