A lot of things separate the two players: ten years apart, 23 Grand Slam titles, and 66 places in the WTA rankings. However, the American Serena Williams (eighth in the world) and the Romanian Irina Begu (74th) will write hand in hand an important chapter in the history of Roland-Garros, playing Monday May 31 the first match of the first night session of the history of the tournament.
A few games had dragged on late under the brand new roof of the Central during the last fall edition (we remember a Nadal-Sinner that lasted until 1:25 a.m.), but they were extensions of parties started before 9 p.m. and not subject to a separate ticket, such as nocturnes. If the weather is good, some matches may take place until late, as the entire stadium now offers lighting on all courts.
A treatment of favors reserved for the stars
But it is on the Central that the event of the day will take place, which offers a spectacular device: as soon as the players leave the locker rooms, a luminous course will lead them to the court, where they will make their entrance. , accompanied by music specially composed for the occasion. This preferential treatment will be reserved for the stars (and their opponent), who will set foot on the evening clay as a priority.
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The night sessions aiming to offer a separate entry ticket, they will only offer big names, chosen according to the course of the tournament. In the evenings to come, there will therefore be Nadal in the air. And undoubtedly the returning Federer, if the latter comes out of his first round, this same Monday 31, against the Uzbek and 202nd world Denis Istomin, resulting from the qualifications.
Only the night of June 9 will be open to the public
This year, the operation will not show its full potential since the 9 p.m. curfew prohibits the presence of the public in the stands. In view of government directives, only the evening of June 9 can be opened at the ticket office, within the 11 p.m. limit. Exceptionally, the game will start that evening at 8 p.m. to limit the risk of having to vacate the stands before the outcome. There will be no nightlife during the last four days of competition (from 10 to 13), reserved for the semi-finals and finals, which will take place as usual during the day.
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With almost no ticketing issue for this year, the nocturnes have been maintained due to the broadcasting contract signed in 2019, well before the Covid-19 pandemic, by Amazon. The online sales company has acquired for Amazon Prime Video, its broadcasting site, the exclusive broadcasting rights for these evenings until 2023.