Four-time major champion Naomi Osaka and the world’s No.2 female tennis player, announced the Twitter and Instagram that she will not participate in press conferences during the French Open.
“I have often felt that people have no respect for the mental health of athletes and that rings very true whenever I see or attend a press conference,” Osaka wrote. “We often sit there and ask questions that have been asked many times before or questions that make us doubt and I’m just not going to submit to people who doubt me. I’ve watched lots of clips of athletes collapsing after losing in the press room and I know you do too. I believe this whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind that.
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Naomi Osaka of Japan practicing on Philippe-Chatrier court during a training match against Ashleigh Barty of Australia in preparation for the French Open at Roland Garros.
To accompany her Instagram post, Osaka included videos of another prominent female tennis player, Venus Williams, and former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch in interview situations.
Williams responded to the message saying, “Girl, are you doing. Your life is yours! ”
“Not doing the press is nothing personal for the tournament and a few reporters have interviewed me since I was young, so I have a friendly relationship with most of them,” Osaka wrote. . “However, if organizations think they can just keep saying ‘Pressure or you are going to be fined’ and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes who are the centerpiece of their cooperation, then I have to just laugh.
Players can be fined for not attending press conferences. Osaka addressed this issue in an article saying, “I hope the hefty amount I am fined for this goes to a mental health charity.”
The main draw for Roland-Garros, the second major event on the tennis calendar, begins on Sunday.
Osaka, 23, who has twice won the US Open and Australian Open, did not compete in Roland Garros in 2020, citing a hamstring injury. She did not make it past the third round of this major event.
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