Naomi Osaka is refusing to do press conferences at the 2021 French Open, a dramatic falling out she announced on Twitter Thursday.
The world No. 2 was spotted practising with Aussie Ash Barty earlier on the Roland Garros clay before taking to social media to declare from out of the blue she will straight up snub journalists at the year’s second grand slam.
In a statement released online, Osaka wrote she will not take part in news conferences, believing that some post-match inquests are little more than “kicking a person while they’re down”.
She says she will donate the fines she will accrue to mental health charities.
“I am writing this to say that I am not going to do any press during Roland Garros,” the 23-year-old announced on Twitter.
“I have often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.
“We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I am not going to subject myself to people who doubt me.”
She also swiped back at a troll on social media following her announcement when criticised for not fulfilling her responsibilities as a professional athlete.
“Sir I’m paying the fine. How are you gonna tell me how to do my job? You don’t see me come and tell you how incorrect your form is while you’re sitting on the couch,” she wrote.
Under tennis tournament rules, all players are required to hold press conferences after each match.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka has never loved the attention.Source:AFP
They also perform media duties before a tournament.
Osaka regularly packs out media rooms due to her standing in the sport and her charismatic appeal to reporters.
She fields questions in Japanese and English and is regarded as one of the world’s most marketable stars.
There is speculation Osaka’s fines will total more than $US100,000 — with stars, including Novak Djokovic, recently fined $20,000 for skipping press conferences after losing matches.
Osaka last year made $37 million, more than any other female athlete. She added on Wednesday: “I believe the whole situation is kicking a person while they are down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.”
The French Open gets underway in Paris on Sunday.
Osaka has yet to get beyond the third round at Roland Garros.
— with AFP
Source: Read Full Article