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‘Second-class citizens’

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Billie Jean King claimed that women tennis players are treated as ‘second-class citizens’ in the scheduling at the 2022 French Open.

The criticism comes as just one night session out of 10 at Roland Garros showcased a women’s match-up.

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Andy Murray’s former trainer and two-time Grand Slam winner Amelie Mauresmo is the current tournament director at the French Open and had to apologise for describing women’s matches as ‘less appealing’ than men’s.

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“You want to make everyone feel important,” King said.

The American tennis legend continued, stating: “They should have the same amount of women’s matches as they do men’s. Real easy. If [they] keep treating us like second-class citizens we will stay second-class citizens.

“We should have more matches, but I think Amelie will take care of that next year. Knowing her, she’s a winner.”

While there is an ongoing discussion about whether women should play five sets at Grand Slams, King suggested instead that men reduce their efforts to three.

“I have been saying forever we should only play two out of three sets. As the players get older, I want them to be able to play,” King said.

“Nadal is one – do you want him to stop? I never want him to stop. I want to make it possible for them to win.”

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Watch the French Open live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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