Billie Jean King says it is time for female tennis players to stop being treated like "second-class citizens" and backed Amelie Mauresmo to redress the balance at the French Open.

Mauresmo apologised after this week stating that there had only been one women's match at Roland Garros played in the night session as the men's game is more appealing.

Iga Swiatek, who won her second grand slam title in Paris on Saturday, described the French Open tournament director's comments as "disappointing and surprising".

The legendary King has called for female players to be in the spotlight more and expects that to be the case on Court Philippe-Chatrier next year, when Mauresmo will oversee the clay-court major for a second time after a difficult start to her tenure.

"You've got to put them when it's prime time, and you have got to figure it out and you want to give equal opportunity to both genders," King said during a press conference at Roland Garros.

"Always. You always want to make sure you do the right thing by each person. They should have the same amount of women's matches as they do men's. Real easy.

"Right now we are playing two out of three sets, we will get out of there faster.

"I think the men should change that. If we keep treating us like second-class citizens we will stay second-class citizens. You want to make everyone feel important

"We should have more matches, but I think Amelie will take care of that next year. Knowing her, she's a winner."

World number one Swiatek swept 18-year-old Coco Gauff aside to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen for a second time on Saturday, winning 6-1 6-3 to extend her astonishing run of victories to 35.

French Open director Amelie Mauresmo has apologised for suggesting women's tennis lacks the "appeal" of the men's game after drawing the ire of world number one Iga Swiatek.

Mauresmo – herself a former two-time grand slam winner who made the French Open quarter-finals on two occasions – made the comments while discussing the lack of women's matches played during the night sessions at Roland Garros.

This is the first edition of the French Open to feature night sessions – but women's matches under the floodlights have been few and far between to date.

On Wednesday, Mauresmo suggested this was down to the men's game being more popular with spectators, saying: "In this era that we are in right now, I don't feel – and as a woman and former player, I don't feel bad or unfair saying that right now you have more attraction. Can you say that? Appeal? For the men's matches."

Those comments were labelled "disappointing and surprising" by top seed Swiatek, who will play teenager Coco Gauff in Saturday's final.

But Mauresmo has now apologised for the comment, telling the Tennis Channel: "I want to say sorry to the players that really felt bad about what I said.

"The comments that I made were taken out of the wider picture, out of the context. Because we have one match only, I feel that it's really tougher to schedule a women's match because we have to take into consideration the length [of the match]. I feel it's the fair kind of thing to do for the ticket holders.

"I think the people who know me, who've known me on and off the court, throughout my career, throughout everything that I've done, know that I'm a big fighter for equal rights and women's tennis, women in general."

The scheduling of night matches in the French capital has attracted other criticisms since the tournament began, with 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal claiming "it is too late, without a doubt" after his five-set quarter-final win over Novak Djokovic ended at 1:15am local time on Wednesday.

While the sessions will stay on the agenda at future editions, Mauresmo insists concerns over late finishing times, as well as the balance between men's and women's matches being showcased at favourable broadcast times, must be reviewed after the tournament.

"I feel that next year, in order to be able to be more fair to the women players, as well as to both categories actually, it would be good to maybe have the possibility to put two matches or maybe a women's match plus a doubles match," Mauresmo added.

"[We will] try to find a better solution to be fair to everyone. We tried to modernise the event. We tried to move forward, and I can see that there are some adjustments to be made, that's for sure. We're going to talk about it after the tournament."

Iga Swiatek says it was "disappointing and surprising" to hear Amelie Mauresmo state that watching women play at the French Open is less appealing than seeing their male counterparts.

Mauresmo, the tournament director at Roland Garros, was asked on Wednesday why only one match out of 10 during the night sessions in Paris had been contested by women.

The former world number one replied: "In this era that we are in right now, I don't feel - and as a woman and former player, I don't feel bad or unfair saying that right now you have more attraction. Can you say that? Appeal? That's the general, for the men's matches."

Mauresmo added: "This is what we wanted to showcase to spectators who had only one-match tickets, because some of them do. It was more difficult to have, of course, a match, a night-session match with only female tennis players."

Alize Cornet's victory over Jelena Ostapenko in the second round was the only evening match involving women to take place in the first year where night sessions have been on the schedule at the French Open.

While Swiatek says she is not bothered what time of day she plays, the world number one was not impressed with Mauresmo's comments.

It's 33 straight wins for No.1 @iga_swiatek -- catch all the best moments from her 6-3, 6-2 win today with Highlights by @emirates#RolandGarros | #EmiratesFlyBetterMoments pic.twitter.com/NuIw0xcOfe

After reaching the semi-finals at the expense of Jessica Pegula, the top seed said: "It is a little bit disappointing, and surprising because she was also in the WTA.

"From my point of view, for every player it's more convenient to play at a normal hour, but for sure I want to entertain and I also want to show my best tennis in every match.

"So, for me, I'm always focused the same way when I'm going out. It doesn't matter if it's day session or night sessions. But, yeah, it is a little bit disappointing.

"But it's always their decision and we kind of have to accept that. But I want my tennis to be entertainment as well, I always said that, and in my toughest moments I always remember that I also play for people.

"I think it's kind of [the] personal opinion of every person if they like men's tennis or women's tennis more, or if they like them equally, but I think women's tennis has a lot of advantages.

"And some may say that it's unpredictable and girls are not consistent. But, on the other hand, it may also be something that is really appealing, and it may really attract more people. So it depends on personal views of some people."

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