Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka kept true to her word and skipped her first press interview on Sunday, May 30, 2021, after her French Open match. Osaka revealed last week that she wouldn’t be granting press interviews during the French Open, citing mental health concerns and that reporters often “kick athletes when they’re down.” She was fined $15,000 for missing her first press conference and was told that further action may be taken if she continues to boycott the media. The 23-year-old Osaka defeated Romanian World No. 63 Patricia Maria Tig in her opening round victory, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations, she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences,” read a statement from the four Grand Slam tournaments on Sunday after Osaka was fined. “As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offense investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions.
“She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them and that rules should equally apply to all players,” the statement continued. “Naomi Osaka today chose not to honor her contractual media obligations. The Roland Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine.”
After Osaka first revealed her decision last week, French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton called the tennis star’s treatment of the media “a phenomenal error” and “not acceptable.”
The World No.2 player later agreed to an on-court TV interview only following her win on Sunday. “For me, playing on clay is a work in progress,” she said after the win. “Hopefully, the more I play, the better I will become.”
Osaka also sent out a mysterious tweet after the match, posting, “Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable.”
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