2021 French Open: Naomi Osaka faces the default from Grand Slam for her refusal to speak to the media


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Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka has won four of her Grand Slams, having won two US Open titles (2018 and 2020) and two Australian Open titles (2019 and 2021).

Grand Slam organizers said world number two Naomi Osaka is facing expulsion from the French Open if she continues to refuse to speak to the media.

Osaka, Japan, said last week that it would not hold any press conferences during the Grand Slam tournament because it wanted to protect her mental health.

She was fined $ 15,000 (£ 10,570) for not having done the media after her first round win over Romanian Patricia Maria Teague on Sunday.

The second seed won 6-4 7-6 (7-4).

A joint statement issued by the Grand Slam organizers said that Osaka was also facing “more heavy fines and suspensions of Grand Slam tournaments in the future.”

They added that after her announcement, Roland Garros’ teams asked the 23-year-old to reconsider her position and failed in her attempts to verify her safety.

After a “lack of participation” from Osaka, Grand Slam organizers wrote to her to offer support, as well as to “remind her of her obligations.”

“One of the basic elements in the Grand Slam regulations is the players’ responsibility to interact with the media, whatever the outcome of the match, and it is a responsibility that the players bear for the benefit of the sport, the fans and themselves,” the statement said. .

“Naomi Osaka advised us that if she continues to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she will expose herself to potential consequences for violating the code of conduct.

“ As expected, repeated violations attract tougher penalties, including dereliction of heroism and the launch of an investigation into a major crime that could lead to more heavy fines and the suspension of Grand Slam in the future.

She added that the rules are in place to “ensure that all players are treated the same.”

Osaka had previously moved to put the controversy aside when she began her career in Paris with a back-to-back victory over Teague.

It scored 20 winners in the first set, largely dominated by the Court Philippe Chatrier, but had to work harder in the second set before its tiebreaker quality qualified.

The four-time super heroine plays Romanian Anna Bogdan.

Osaka has yet to reach the same heights on the red dirt as it did on hard court, never skipping the third round at Roland Garros and setting a record-breaking loss winning 13-13 in the events leading up to the Grand Slam tournament.

How did you get to this point?

On Wednesday, Osaka issued a statement saying that it would not confront the media during the French Open, citing the impact of press conferences on the mental health of the players.

She said that expecting players to answer questions after defeat amounts to “kicking someone is frustrated.”

“I often felt that people do not care about the mental health of athletes and this seems true whenever I see or participate in a press conference,” she said in the statement, which she posted on social media.

“We often sit there and ask questions that have been asked of us many times before or ask questions that arouse suspicion in our minds and I will not subject myself to people who question me.”

Grand Slam rules state players can be fined up to $ 20,000 (£ 14,160) for failing to fulfill their media obligations, with the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) saying players “have a responsibility to their sport and their fans” for speaking to the media during competitions.

Osaka’s stance was praised by many athletes, both inside and outside of tennis, although many accepted it to speak to the media. It is “part of the job”.

After defeating Tig, Osaka took part in the usual on-court interview with the victor.

“My movement on the clay is a work in progress. If I keep playing more matches, I hope it gets better,” she said.

An ‘explosive statement’ as the Grand Slams remain ‘coherent’ – analysis

BBC Tennis correspondent Russell Fuller on BBC Radio 5 Live

It’s an explosive statement from the Grand Slam and some rare unit from the world of tennis.

Whatever you think about it, Osaka was thrown into disarray at the start of this year’s second Grand Slam tournament.

Osaka appears to have got it wrong. I thought her initial statement was poorly judged and worded, even though she made too many points that should be properly discussed.

She has almost been tainted by the WTA due to the way they communicate with players and the media for not being able to give a reasonable interview.

Naomi Brody, British musician, on BBC Radio 5 Live

It’s a strong position and because it’s coming from the Grand Slam board, they stick to each other and say the same position will be taken across the board at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open.

The fine is that they follow the rules – you could say they are so generous with the fine since the maximum fine is $ 20,000.

By and large, the prize money awarded to us is a right of the media that sells the tournament, and if you are not participating with the media, you may not participate in the tournament.

Laura Robson, British ex-number one, on BBC Radio 5 Live

I think I was on the verge of tears at a press conference and I think a lot of players were. But I always saw interviews as part of a job. It is something that you have to deal with in the day.

I’ve always found the round to conform to the 30-minute rule, as you are supposed to be in a press conference within 30 minutes of a match. If you say you need to form yourself, they go out of their way to find out and work with everyone.

I totally understand everyone’s experiences have been different and I’m sure Osaka has a lot of media responsibilities. I would be interested to see if this would scale back from now on and improve the process.

Naomi Kavaday, former British player, on BBC Radio 5 Live

Even if you agree with what Osaka is trying to cross and think it might be unfair at times, the way you have handled it is extraordinary. No dialogue with the WTA, no dialogue with Roland Garros or with the other Grand Slams at all.

The first thing they heard about any difficulties or tensions was the statement that they were protesting against it. It is a combat way of doing business from one of the strongest tennis players.

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