PARIS (Reuters) - The French Open is too long and should scrap its policy of spreading the first round over three days, according to former world number one John McEnroe.
The Sunday start at Roland Garros means it was day three before defending men’s champion Rafa Nadal began his quest for a 10th title while women’s world number one Serena Williams was also idle for two days before taking to court.
American great McEnroe, commentating this year for Eurosport, said the French Open should not last 15 days, especially as Wimbledon requires only 13 days to complete the same amount of matches.
The U.S. Open and Australian Opens are 14-day tournaments.
“Roland Garros is the only one of the four majors that is 15 days and that is too long,” McEnroe said on the daily show Game Set and Mats.
“Think of it from a players’ perspective. Some are hoping to reach the second week of a major but some don’t even make it to the first week of the event. That’s tough to take.
“Players should say ‘no mas’ unless all of that money that the French federation, which does a fine job with the event —and I understand it’s nice to have three Sundays — that all the money that is generated on that particular day is given to charity.”
McEnroe also criticized the security at the event in the wake of Sunday’s incident when a fan walked on to court and tried to take a selfie with Roger Federer.
“That was pretty lame. The court is a sanctuary for the players where the players want to feel safe and able to concentrate,” he said.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris