Mauresmo hails three-week celebration

Roland-Garros Tournament Director spoke to the media on Sunday

Amelie Mauresmo, Chris Evert, Roland-Garros 2023, women's final trophy ceremony© Cédric Lecocq/FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Ten days after Roland-Garros 2022 ended, Tournament Director Amelie Mauresmo and her team sat down to formulate the road map for the 2023 edition.

The former world No.1 and 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion is thrilled by the evolution of the Parisian Grand Slam, which has had a vibrant buzz across all three weeks.

Enjoying the first of the three weeks and then the main draw fortnight, fans more than played their part in a host of memorable moments.

"I'm very satisfied that this opening week, this qualifications week, was an incredible success," Mauresmo told reporters on Sunday.

"The tickets were sold out for that week. We really made the qually players feel that they were part of Roland-Garros, that it was not a sub-tournament, that they were part of the 2023 edition of Roland-Garros. The players were very happy about that. 

"We'll even go further for 2024. We have possibilities for development for that week in 2024."

An early indication is that Court Simonne-Mathieu could be incorporated into the qualifying week arenas.

'Fantastic atmosphere'

We have witnessed some incredible moments in the stands this tournament: the Brazilian flags hailing Beatriz Haddad-Maia's semi-final run; Lucas Pouille during qualifying conducting the Court 14 crowd in a chorus of La Marseillaise; the rock n' roll welcomes for Carlos Alcaraz; or the goosebump standing ovation for Karolina Muchova during the trophy presentation.

And Gael Monfils sprawled out on the terre battue in tears after his five-set rollercoaster with Sebastian Baez perfectly encapsulates how Roland-Garros 2023 was one hell of a ride.

"I think it's fantastic to have such atmosphere. The atmosphere during the quallies, also that continued and reached the main draw, and even on Court 14. And after the first week in the main draw, that's fabulous," continued Mauresmo.

Lucas Pouille, Jurij Rodionov, Roland-Garros 2023, Simple Messieurs, Qualifications© Pauline Ballet / FFT

"Yes, we want to continue and develop this, and we want this to be affordable and accessible to the general public. Because we know that in the last two weeks of the main draw, we can't do much more, can we? We're a bit stuck.

"If we want to have more youth, more accessibility, if we want to include more people who will be writing the history of Roland-Garros, the Roland-Garros adventure at prices that are quite affordable, then it's with this week that it will start. That's when we can catch the eye of more youth, and they will be interested in tennis and Roland-Garros, and that's the objective of the tournament."

Spectator satisfaction

One of Mauresmo's 2023 missions was to make sure the audience had a "unique day" without too much waiting or crowding.

"The first thing we did for the general public was diminish the number of people in total, so minus 2,000 people, it's minus 2,000 of the top stands of Simonne-Mathieu, and all the tickets had access to this part of the stands," added the 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion. 

"This enabled us to have less people in the queues, greater comfort, a better experience for the general audience entering the stadium. It was appreciated by everyone. We have tools to measure that satisfaction, and the feedback is exceptional. It's something we will keep for 2024, because feedback is super positive.

"Despite these minus 2,000 people per day, we have beaten the record of 630,000 people in total for the visitors, with better comfort, a better distribution over the weeks."

Marking the occasion

It is 40 years since Yannick Noah lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires and the much-loved French icon was on hand to deliver a memorable concert to kick off the party.

"It was very well-perceived in the right measure with the right emotion, both for Yannick, for the people who were present, his entourage at that time that were presented several times during the tournament who will be also present for the trophy presentation, also on the court for the legends match," said Mauresmo.

"It was something important for us, for me, for the tournament, for the Federation, and I think that he's set his mark in Roland-Garros stadiums, and it's something we didn't want to miss for us in 2023."