Billie Jean King news: Tennis great wants more night matches at Roland Garros for women

Novak Djokovic playing under lights

Tennis legend and advocate for equal rights, Billie Jean King, has spoken out about night matches at Roland Garros and believes the French Open should have scheduled more for women’s games.

She believes this will give the women’s game more attention as there will be greater exposure for the players.

King thinks the tournament’s new director, Amelie Mauresmo, will be changing that for next year, after this year she said men’s tennis has more “appeal” and it was hard to find high-profile women’s games to schedule at night.

“It will stay that way if we don’t have more matches, that’s for sure, you’ve got to put them when it’s prime time and you have got to figure it out and you want to give equal opportunities to both genders. Always,” King said in retaliation to Mauresmo’s comments.

“You always want to make sure you do the right thing by each person, they should have the same amount of women’s matches as they do men’s.

“If we keep treating ourselves like second-class citizens, we will stay second-class citizens, you want to make everyone feel important. We should have more matches, but I think Amelie will take care of that next year.”

On Friday, King was recognised for her contributions to women’s rights, gender equality and the rights of the LGBT community as she was awarded France’s highest civilian honour, the Legion of Honour, during a ceremony at the presidential palace, Elysee Palace, at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Additionally the French Tennis Federation also honoured her for her playing contributions and her advocacy work on the 50th anniversary of her 1972 win at Roland Garros.

The women’s final was played yesterday and world No 1 Iga Swiatek claimed victory against her teenage opponent Coco Gauff from America to secure her second Grand Slam title.