Two-time French Open runner-up Alex Corretja says night matches at the French Open will throw up a level of unpredictability as they return for 2022 - but in front of crowds for the first time.
The scheduling change was introduced for the first time last year but the matches were played behind closed doors due to Covid curfews, meaning some of the best encounters were missed by paying spectators.
But Eurosport expert Corretja says while it is good for the fans, players may struggle to adapt to a change in condition - and they will have less time to recover, too.
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Why did the French Open introduce night matches?

Organisers at Roland-Garros brought in the change in 2021, matching the success of the US Open and Australian Open, leaving Wimbledon as the only Grand Slam which does not deliberately schedule night matches.
But because of Covid curfew rules in Paris at the time, no-one could watch the match inside the Philippe-Chatrier until the final day they were scheduled. Even then, when the curfew was extended, a quarter-final between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini had to be halted to kick out fans at 11pm, with the players finishing in front of empty stands.

How do night matches work at the French Open?

Tournament officials will schedule what they deem to be the biggest match of the day to be played at 9pm local time (8pm BST) on Philippe-Chatrier, for the first 10 days. Organisers say the night matches are “back with a vengeance” and believe it adds an extra dimension to the order of play.
Unlike the US Open and Australian Open, only one night match will be played, on one court.

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How do night matches change conditions at the French Open?

According to Corretja, matches could be harder to call once they are played under the floodlights, for a variety of reasons.
“Lighting is always a tricky thing,” said the Eurosport expert.
“Definitely the ball is bouncing way lower and the matches are very difficult to be quick because it's difficult to hit winners. You need to use a lot of drop shots.”

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What other issues could night matches cause at the French Open?

Matches often run late at the French Open anyway, meaning the scheduled start time on Philippe-Chatrier may have to be put back even later if the daytime order of play overruns.
There is then the issue of clearing out the stadium and filling it back up again, because the night match is ticketed separately.
Corretja says the spectacle will be worthwhile, but worries it may have affect the players further down the line.
“If you play long matches, then it's not that easy to recover for two days after. So it can affect your recovery in the tournament,” he said.
“But hopefully, if they play a long match, then they will have time to recover [for] two days after and they will be okay.
“It's nice for the crowd. I think it's nice for the tournament. I think it's a little bit tougher for the players.”

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