Alexander Zverev rips Carlos Alcaraz act ahead of French Open clash

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Alexander Zverev is unhappy rivals have played more games on the French Open show court than he has.
Alexander Zverev has complained about the French Open scheduling, as rivals such as Carlos Alcaraz have benfited from more matches on the main show court. (Photo by Ibrahim Ezzat/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev has torn into French Open organisers with complaints over the schedule, suggesting rising fan favourite Carlos Alcaraz has been given preferential treatment.

Zverev has found himself relegated to other courts with the French Open's main show court, Court Philippe Chatrier, mostly occupied by matches featuring the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

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The German star said he was not surprised that two thirds of tennis' 'Big Three' would be big draws, but the World No.3 was less pleased to see Alcaraz playing three of his first four matches on the show court.

By comparison, Zverev has played on Court Phillippe Chatrier just once.

Reflecting after winning through to the quarter-finals, Zverev said the atmosphere on the show court compared to other courts was 'completely different' and questioned why Alcaraz 'gets what he wants'.

“We [Carlos Alcaraz and myself] have Novak and Rafael on our side of the tournament. And it is normal, if they are on your side of the tournament they get what they want, and that’s okay," Zverev told Eurosport Germany.

"One of them won 20 grand slams, the other 21. And that is proper. That is totally fine for me.

“But it is very interesting to see that Alcaraz gets what he wants. We all have played a couple of times on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Myself three times, Novak twice, even Rafa. But Alcaraz plays every match on Philippe Chatrier.

“I get that he is the exciting new mega talent in tennis. I am still the No. 3 in the world, but this is nothing about me.

“We have Rafa and Novak on our side of the tournament and they need to make room, so that somebody else can play on the main court that hasn’t already multiple times. This is extremely interesting for me.”

French Open scheduling under fire again amid player complaints

Scheduling has been a point of pain for several players at this year's French Open, including Nadal.

The Spaniard is unhappy about his quarter final clash with Djokovic being scheduled for the evening.

The night session, for which Amazon Prime has exclusive broadcasting rights in France, starts at 9 pm local time and was introduced for the first time at the 2021 edition of the claycourt major.

"I don't like night sessions on clay. I am very clear with that," said Nadal.

"I don't like to play on clay during the night because humidity is higher, the ball is slower and there can be very heavy conditions especially when it's cold."

Scheduling of women's matches has also been criticised - of the 10 singles matches scheduled for the night time slot on Court Phillipe Chatrier, only one of them was a women's clash between Alize Cornet and Jelena Ostapenko.

Rafael Nadal has complained about his showdown against Novak Djokovic being scheduled in the evening session. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Rafael Nadal has complained about his showdown against Novak Djokovic being scheduled in the evening session. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Former tennis star Barbara Schett said the women would certainly be talking about the disparity at the French Open.

“I think the women are definitely talking about the night sessions and I’m sure it’ll come up in the players’ meetings as well, that women want to have more night sessions – not only one out of 10,” Schett told Eurosport.

"This will be addressed by the WTA, I’m sure some of the players or the head of the WTA will speak to Roland-Garros and say ‘okay, we would like to have a little more equality’ – so it’s definitely a topic among the players. "

Schett admitted that a tennis director may have reservations about putting a single women's match at night because if it was too short, the paying ticket holder might become dissuaded to attend again.

But, the former tennis star said there could be back-to-back matches for women or even a doubles match to follow.

With AAP

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