Sunday start a success: Bimes

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:34 IST

The president of the French Tennis Federation called the Sunday start at the French Open a success, and predicted other Grand Slams would follow suit.

Sunday start a success: Bimes

Paris:

The president of the French Tennis Federation called the Sunday start at the French Open a success, and predicted other Grand Slam tournaments would follow suit."It makes sense for the spectators and also from a logistics perspective," Christian Bimes said."I think the U.S. Open and the Australian Open will adopt the Sunday start very soon," he added.Some players, including top-seeded Amelie Mauresmo, have voiced concern over the pushed-up start date, saying that spreading out the first round matches over three days would upset their rhythm."We were not really in favor of having a tournament begin on Sunday," said Mauresmo, adding that players "don't have a choice anyway".Bimes said the Sunday start could work to the players' advantage by giving them extra time to recover from first round matches.He said the added day of play also benefited the public, allowing thousands of additional spectators to attend the tournament."The stadiums are full, so we can see the public has responded very positively," he said, adding that with play on only three courts, opening day attendance was down from previous years.More than 30,000 spectators turned out Sunday, compared with about 40,000 in previous years, Bimes said.While only 12 first-day matches were held on Sunday, organizers plan a heavier schedule for next year's opening day, which will also be held on a Sunday, Bimes said. (AP)



Topics : Tennis Lyon Marseille
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