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French Open: Jessica Pegula column on Roland Garros scheduling and seeing Harry Kinds in Paris

American Jessica Pegula, who’s third within the singles world rankings and second within the doubles, is the newest main WTA Tour participant to characteristic in a BBC Sport column.

In her third piece on the French Open, Pegula discusses the choice to place just one ladies’s match within the Roland Garros primetime night time session.

The dearth of ladies’s matches within the night time periods at this 12 months’s French Open is disappointing.

Solely one of many 10 night time periods featured WTA gamers – that was when Aryna Sabalenka performed Sloane Stephens within the fourth spherical on Sunday.

We need to see extra ladies in these spots, to focus on good tennis matches if we are able to, so it hasn’t been ultimate that there has solely been one primetime match for us.

I am a member of the WTA gamers’ council and this challenge has been raised lots.

Final 12 months, when there was additionally just one ladies’s night time match, we spoke to match organisers about it.

That makes this 12 months extra disappointing as a result of we tried to deal with it. We’ve not seen any enchancment. We’re undecided what has occurred.

After the occasion, once we comply with up with the Grand Slams and provides suggestions, I am certain we will certainly specific our ideas that we had been upset to not see extra ladies’s matches on the night time schedule.

I am not saying each match goes to be an incredible match but when we do not have the chance, how are we ever going to indicate it?

We all know folks like ladies’s tennis, and the followers like to observe it, but it surely looks like our product is undervalued right here and in Europe basically.

Quite a lot of causes are put ahead by some folks for why they don’t seem to be extra ladies’s night time matches – the boys’s matches are typically longer, ladies’s matches do not give as a lot worth for cash, the match-ups are probably not as thrilling, and so forth.

Nevertheless it goes forwards and backwards, and if you wish to showcase our nice tennis, then it’s a must to give us an opportunity.

The situations may be tough on Court docket Philippe Chatrier at night time – a bit chilly and a bit windy – and that is undoubtedly an element for the gamers, too.

Enjoying on Chatrier this 12 months within the daytime, I discovered it is sort of a wind tunnel. That may undoubtedly favour some gamers over others and lots are conscious of those form of issues.

I feel a whole lot of women do not thoughts enjoying within the day – and I additionally do not suppose anybody actually needs to be ready round and following an extended five-set match.

Regardless of the causes, hopefully we are able to showcase extra ladies’s matches on this slot subsequent 12 months and will not be going via the identical discussions once more.

‘Harry Kinds helped take my thoughts off tennis’

Whereas I have been right here in Paris, it has not all been about tennis – earlier this week, I went to see a Harry Kinds live performance on the Stade de France.

I would not say I am a giant Directioner – the fandom identify for obsessed One Route followers – however I undoubtedly like his stuff.

It was good to take my thoughts off tennis and do one thing totally different, particularly contemplating it has been an extended six weeks in Europe for the clay-court swing.

He did two dates on the Stade de France – the place I would by no means been earlier than – and I went on the second night time with a few different gamers, together with Asia Muhammed and Caroline Dolehide.

The journey was organised by Alexa Guarachi, one other doubles participant, as a result of she completely loves him – she’s, like, obsessed.

Alexa deliberate this months in the past and purchased us all of the tickets, however she misplaced early within the doubles and determined to go residence.

We could not imagine it! We mentioned “you are going to go residence? This was your entire thought, it is your factor!” However she left and Caroline subbed in for her. She received fortunate!

Even the readers who declare they do not know something about Harry Kinds, they’ll undoubtedly know Watermelon Sugar – that was being performed in all places on the radio continually.

He has some respectable music, he is a great performer, he is received a whole lot of totally different sounds.

He interacted with the group lots. It was humorous as a result of the group get doing French chants and he was so confused.

He questioned what they had been, saying: “”hat are these chants? I’ve by no means heard them.” They stored going and he was telling the group: “Guys, we have to play some extra songs.”

I felt like I used to be used to them as a result of I hear them at Roland Garros – just like the bullfighting trumpet fanfare which the tennis followers sing – so it was humorous to listen to the identical factor at a live performance.

Though Harry did not get booed for random stuff just like the followers boo the gamers on the tennis!

Jessica Pegula was speaking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko at Roland Garros.

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