Naomi Osaka’s decision not to participate in press conferences during the French Open was an inevitable, albeit somewhat inconvenient, topic of debate, as the tournament’s media day was revealed in an unusual way by videoconferencing.
“I understand why she did it.” Second seeded Roland Garros, Daniel Medvedev, said, “I respect his opinion,” echoing public sentiment as a review of the best players – with the exception of Osaka, of course – answered reporters’ questions during a ritual two days before the match began.
Medvedev added, in response to a question from a journalist, “I have no problem” in dealing with journalists.
“I always try to come to a press conference, whether I’m in a bad mood or in a good mood. And I feel even in a bad mood. Sometimes I can be in a better mood after talking to you guys.”
“Without the press … we probably wouldn’t be the athletes as we are today,” Nadal said. We’re not going to get the recognition we have in the world, and we’re not going to be that popular, right? ”
Osaka, a four-way Grand Slam champion and second in the world, announced via Twitter on Wednesday that she intends not to speak to the media in Paris – something that every athlete in every sport does regularly.
“There is a lot of truth in what she said, but there are also the expectations and commitments that come with being a professional athlete, and this is one of them,” Joanna said. Konta, who has reached the semi-finals three times in the major tournament. Championship and 20th placee In the world. So it’s about finding … the right balance. ”
In Grand Slam tournaments, players are subject to fines of up to $ 20,000 USD for not attending press conferences if they are invited to attend and fail to do so.
This is hardly a deterrent to Osaka, the highest-paid athlete in the world, who justified her decision by talking about her mental health and saying that she hopes to pay the sums it will pay to charities working in the field.
“We often sit there and receive questions that we’ve heard many times before or questions that make us suspicious, and I’m not going to come forward to people who want to sow doubt in me.”
On Friday, the WTA tour reminded Osaka of its “responsibility” to interact with reporters.
A statement emailed to the Associated Press by a WTA spokesperson attributed to the organization that reads in part: “The WTA welcomes dialogue with Naomi (and all players) to discuss possible methods that might help a sport manage its concerns regarding Mental health, while allowing us to fulfill our responsibilities to the fans and the public. Professional athletes have a responsibility to their sport and their fans to speak to the media during competition, allowing them to share their views and tell their story. ”
The French Tennis Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“In my opinion, journalism is part of the job. We know what we are committed to as professional players. […] Sometimes press conferences are definitely tough, but that’s also not something that bothers me. […] For me personally, what I say and hear or what you ask me about does not stop me from sleeping at night. Ashley Barty, the champion of Roland Garros has commented in 2019, so I’m trying to make it a little lighter and have a little fun with you.
“It’s a little different for me, but I can’t comment personally on what [Osaka] You live, she continued. So I guess you should ask him for it the next time you talk to him. ”
Who knows when it will be?
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