“We will be very vigilant towards the Russian players”

8:00 AM, May 15, 2022

Beneath the elegant Presidential Hall, the edges of the central plaza come alive. Rafael Nadal’s name, and then others, circulate on LED panels for a demonstration test. A new look for the tournament (May 22 – June 5) whose threads are now drawn by Amélie Mauresmo. After the successful player (Australian Open and Wimbledon 2006), coach on the men’s circuit and captain of the Fed Cup, here comes the leader of Roland Garros.

Do you still remember that you were the first woman to preside over Roland Garros?
As the tournament approaches, it’s back in a bit. I understand the symbolism, and am also very proud of it, but I dare hope that what I have to contribute goes beyond that. And then the effect is still much less powerful than when I was coaching Andy Murray [2014-2016]. It was very difficult, with violent comments. Once he lost the match, it was my fault. But we have done well, with great communication, and are still in regular contact. I’m glad to see him stick and he’s one of the registered players at Roland Garros.

Once you were hired, you said you wanted to be a “force of proposals”. What are the most important?
Very quickly, I suggested adjusting the festivities. Before the singles finals, there will be a small show dedicated to dance. The winner’s first speech will not be given until after the trophy has been delivered. Adjustments were also made to the on-field interviews after the match. The team of interlocutors has been strengthened. Cedric Paulin leaves for Rolex Paris Masters [directeur]She asked Mats Wellander and Alex Corretga to join Marion [Bartoli] And Fabrice [Santoro]. To make the moment more dynamic, the translation will take place directly on the screens, simultaneously. As for the ten evening sessions, they will be preceded by a DJ set, only in order to “warm up” the audience.

ALSO READ – TENNIS: Carlos Alcaraz, aged 18, will soon be at the big table

Will we strive for parity during these sessions?
athletic behaviour. I said it recently during a meeting with the WTA: If there’s a “product,” the female label, we’ll bring it up. But even before the draw, it’s hard for me to say how these evenings will go. I also know that programming will make people unhappy, sometimes with some, sometimes with others.

Is making boxes less scattered at lunchtime a real goal?
It’s a huge challenge, and I’m not the first to face it. We have applied the principle of Annexes Up tickets, hoping to increase attendance at the bottom of the stands when it turns out to be low. Ticket holders will be notified by SMS, via the app or on the stadium’s giant screens. We have also worked with partners to increase their awareness. They have two tickets for one place, so they are also invested in this task of packing, with the guests distributed to different slots.

I also know that programming will make people unhappy

Did you take the advice of your predecessor Guy Forget, whose passing was so tense?
We talked for a long time before I said yes. It was not easy from a human point of view. But we exchanged it without resentment. It would take more questioning of our friendship. But since then, we’ve never talked about him again. It’s good to let some time pass, too.

Were you aware of the secret when Wimbledon decided to ban the presence of players from Russia and Belarus?
Yes, we were informed by the organizers before making it official. We have noticed, but it is true that this is not our position. Even if we regularly put this topic on the table internally, we were all aligned with the policy of strict neutrality of Russians and Belarusians. They may not be able to figure it out, but I know they don’t support the invasion of Ukraine. However, we will be very vigilant about what they can express, for example in the press. And it’s not at all forgiving if a player crosses the line.

Aren’t you afraid that you will suddenly lose your General Manager, Amelie Odea Castera, who is close to becoming Minister of Sports?
Yes and no. I doubt it would do him any good because it’s a position that can’t be refused. For her, it would be great. Since she knows all the files by heart, it will be less good for us. And the question of timing, right before the tournament, will be hot.

Leave a Comment