Victoria Azarenka called on the French Tennis Federation for gender inequality on Sunday after losing in the fourth round of the French Open.
During her post-match press conference, Azarenka was asked about the lack of women’s matches in the night session during the tournament. Only one – a first-round match between Serena Williams and Irina-Camelia Begu – of the seven most watched matches involves women.
“What worries me is when someone from the French federation is constantly trying to say that there is a tie and is just pointing to making money, which is true,” Azarenka said. “Everything else, I wouldn’t even agree with that for a moment. And that̵
Initial reports in April of the addition of night matches to the 2021 French Open said only male players would take part, but the tournament dispelled this in a news release.
Azarenka, the two-time main champion and former world number one, said there were other examples of unequal treatment at Roland Garros.
“I mean, I think there is [are] enough examples over the years when we heard remarks about women where we saw two semi-final matches for women playing on the outdoor courts. I’m talking about. I think there [are] there are no surprises I can reveal here.
“I think sometimes you have to hold some people accountable for some of these things, rather than constantly pointing out the obvious about cash prizes.”
None of the women’s semi-finals during the 2019 French Open took place at Court Philippe Chatrier, the tournament’s central court, unlike the two men’s matches in the same round. Both singles champions will win $ 1.7 million to win the tournament this year.
Azarenka lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, completing her attempt to reach the quarterfinals of Roland Garros for the first time since 2013.