French Open organisers are being slammed for moving the women’s semi-finals to smaller courts due to weather conditions while the men's games remain on the main 15,000-seat Court Philippe Chatrier as planned.
Play on Wednesday was washed out due to rain, meaning the last two women’s quarter-finals were played Thursday night with the semi-finals pushed back a day until Friday night. This resulted in the semi-final between Aussie Ashleigh Barty and Amanda Anisimova being moved to Court Suzanne Lenglen while Johanna Konta’s match with Marketa Vondrousova has been shifted to the smaller 5,000-seat Court Simonne-Mathieu.
Some fans labelled the move “unfair, inappropriate” and “shameful” and the the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) have said they're "extremely disappointed" by the decision.
“We are extremely disappointed by the scheduling of both women’s semi-finals on outside courts,” said WTA chief executive Steve Simon.
“The four women who have played so well and made it this far have earned their right to play on the biggest stage.
“We believe other solutions were possible which would have been to the benefit of fans as well as all players.”
Watch below to see how Ash Barty surged through to the semis...
Former women's world number one Amelie Mauresmo also called out the move.
“It is shameful for our tournament,” tweeted the 49-year-old. “Everyone agrees that the match of the day is Federer/Nadal. But what message are we sending by taking the decision to put the two women’s semi-finals on at 11am on the second and third courts? No match on the centre court?”
“It’s simple to open Lenglen and Chatrier and have the two women’s matches at 1pm followed by the two men’s.”
Barty had mixed feelings about the decision.
“Obviously we would love to play on Chatrier,” the number eight seed told the press. “For me, personally, I’m excited to be in a semi-final. It doesn’t really matter which court I play on.
“Yes, of course we would have loved to play on Chatrier. It’s a beautiful court. But in saying that, all four of us will be ready and prepared and go out there and enjoy it.”