All You Need to Know About the Night Sessions at French Open 2021

Published 05/16/2021, 8:27 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 09: A general view inside Court Philippe Chatrier during the ladies singles final between Sloane Stephens of The United States and Simona Halep of Romania during day fourteen of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The French Open happens to be one of the most prestigious tournaments in this wonderful sport. Played on the clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, was founded in 1891, over a century ago. The French Open 2021, also known as Roland Garros, is set to take place from 24 May to 13 June. 


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From the 2021 season onwards, organizers at the French Open have decided to introduce a new concept to the tournament – the night session. The session will begin at 9 PM local time behind closed doors.

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 01: The Roland Garros logo is seen outside the VIP village on day nine of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

On the final night session, there will be 5000 spectators and that would be the first day the use of sanitary passes would be used in the tournament. 


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Night matches to take place from the early rounds at French Open 2021

From Monday, May 30, until the second week on Wednesday, when the quarterfinals are scheduled to take place, there will be one match played on Court Philippe-Chatrier, which will begin from 9 PM onwards.

There were rumors of men’s players getting the preference to conduct their matches. However, it was denied and the decision will be made by ‘the head tournament umpire’ based on the draw and the matches available to select. 

Nonetheless, in the early stages, it would be better for fans to view a men’s match instead of a women’s match. Since the top seeds get through their early rounds with ease, it would be a better value for money for fans to watch a match that would go on for longer. 

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 07: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace at the net after their mens singles semi-final match during Day thirteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

As women’s matches are decided in the best of three sets, they do not match up the durations of a best of five sets men’s match.

Tournament director, Guy Forget spoke on this and stated, “The first rounds for the seeds are often one-sided matches… even if Nadal wins 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, he will play for one hour 45 minutes or two hours. If it’s 6-1, 6-1 for women, it can last 40 minutes. If at some point, there is a women’s game that is a great confrontation, it could be the game of the day, the one that people want to see as a priority.”

Tickets for night session will have to be purchased separately


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All the matches in the night sessions will be conducted on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Thus, tickets will have to be purchased separately and will not be the same as the day session. While there will be three matches in the day session, there will be only one match in the evening session. 

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Last year, the Jannik Sinner match against Rafael Nadal went past 1 AM local time and the match had to be completed as it had already been delayed by the rain. 


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As the French Open 2021 is around the corner, the world’s best players will be present in the city of Paris from the next week onwards. It will be interesting to see who emerges as the champion in both men’s and women’s categories. 


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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.