Naomi Osaka, who won the French Open last year, has refused to speak to the media this year, as she did not want to answer any questions about her coach, Sascha Bajin, who she has accused of being abusive. Her refusal to speak to the press is a breach of the court’s rules, and the French Open has decided that she will be fined $25,000.
Naomi Osaka has scored big in the Grand Slams and recently won the US Open, but her professional life has been marred by controversy. The 21-year-old tennis pro made headlines after she refused to answer questions at the US Open during her win, and it seems like this kind of behavior will not be tolerated at the French Open.
After Naomi Osaka won the Rogers Cup on August 16, she held a press conference to discuss her runner-up finish and her preparation for next year. However, the New York Times reports that Osaka refused to answer any questions from French journalists, instead answering only English questions. The Times quotes Itt Segev, an Associated Press reporter from France, saying the French Open has “a very long tradition of journalists speaking French.” Osaka, on the other hand, is “not interested in hearing French,” he says. “She doesn’t have respect for the French media.”
How did we get here?
Osaka said Wednesday that she would not speak to the media during the French Open, citing the impact of press conferences on players’ mental health. She said expecting players to answer questions after a loss is like punching a man in his sleep. I often feel that people don’t care about the mental health of athletes, and that is confirmed every time I watch or attend a press conference, she said in a statement posted on social media. We are often asked questions that have been asked many times before, or questions that make us doubt ourselves, and I’m just not going to expose myself to people doubting me. Under Grand Slam rules, players can be fined up to $20,000 (£14,160) if they fail to meet their obligations to the media. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has stated that players have a responsibility to their sport and their fans to communicate with the media during competition. Many athletes inside and outside of tennis applauded Osaka’s stance, though many acknowledged that talking to the press is part of the job. After the win over Teague, Osaka participated in a routine on-field interview. My kneading is a work in progress. If I keep playing more games, I hope it gets better, she said.
Explosive statement as Grand Slams are held – Analysis
Russell Fuller, tennis correspondent, on Radio 5 Live. It’s an explosive statement from four Grand Slam contenders and a rare unity in the tennis world. Whatever one thinks of it, right or wrong, Osaka is in trouble at the start of her second Grand Slam of the year. Osaka seems to have made a mistake. It seemed to me that his first statement was poorly thought out and poorly worded, although it does raise a number of issues that need to be properly discussed. His message vilified the WTA for the way it communicates with the players and the media for their inability to conduct a sensitive interview. Naomi Broady, British tennis player, on Radio 5 Live. It’s a strong position, and because it comes from the Grand Slam Council, they stand together and say the same position will be represented at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. The fine is in line – you could say they were generous, as the maximum fine is $20,000. In fact, the prizes we receive are the media rights the tournament sells, and if you don’t compete with the media, you probably won’t be able to participate in the tournament. Laura Robson, former British number one, on Radio 5 Live. I think I was about to cry at the press conference, and I think a lot of the players were too. But I’ve always considered interviews part of the job. It’s something you have to deal with on the day. I always thought the circuit favored the 30-minute rule, which says you have to be at a press conference within 30 minutes of the game. When you say pool your ideas, they do their best to find a solution and work with everyone else. I am aware that everyone’s experience is different, and I am sure Osaka has so many obligations to the media. I am curious to see if this will be reduced in the future and if the process will be improved. Naomi Kavaday, former Great Britain player, on Radio 5 Live. Even if you agree with what Osaka is trying to convey and think she’s a little unfair at times, the way she does it is exceptional. No dialogue with the WTA, no dialogue with Roland Garros or other Grand Slams. The first time they heard of problems or tensions was when she protested. That’s a combative way to go from one of the toughest players in tennis. Shortly after Naomi Osaka defeated Angelique Kerber to win her second Grand Slam title at the French Open, the 22-year old tennis player was at the center of a media storm—and not for winning.. Read more about when is the french open and let us know what you think.
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