Coco Gauff Criticizes French Open And Tennis Community For Late Match Schedules: ‘I Definitely Think It’s Not Healthy’

by Gee NY
Coco Gauff will take on Ons Jabeur in the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday. (Foto Olimpik/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Coco Gauff has raised concerns over the scheduling practices at the French Open and tennis tournaments in general, citing late match finishes as detrimental to players’ well-being.

In a statement, Gauff criticized the French Open and the broader tennis community for allowing matches to extend into the early hours of the morning.

“Yeah, I definitely think finishing at 3 a.m. is — I feel like a lot of times people think you’re done, but really, 3 a.m., then you have [media responsibilities] and then you have to shower, eat, and then a lot of times people do treatments,” Gauff said Sunday, via ESPN. “So that’s probably not going to bed until 5 o’clock at the earliest, maybe 6 o’clock, and even 7 o’clock.

“I definitely think it’s not healthy. It may be not fair for those who have to play late because it does ruin your schedule. I’ve been lucky I haven’t been put in a super-late finish yet.”

She also noted the toll such late finishes take on players’ physical and mental health, noting the difficulty of adhering to post-match routines and recovery protocols when matches conclude past 3 a.m. local time.

Gauff’s remarks follow her victory over Elisabetta Cocciaretto, propelling her into the French Open quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive year.

While Gauff herself has not experienced a late match in Paris, she highlighted Novak Djokovic’s recent third-round match, which concluded at 3:07 a.m. local time.

Late match finishes are a recurring issue across tennis tournaments, not limited to the French Open but prevalent in all Grand Slam events.

Gauff acknowledged the complexity of addressing this issue, suggesting potential solutions such as setting a cutoff time for match starts or implementing measures to expedite proceedings in the event of lengthy matches.

Despite the challenges in finding a resolution, Gauff stressed the importance of prioritizing players’ health and safety, suggesting that proactive measures could mitigate the adverse effects of late match schedules on athlete well-being.

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