Naomi Osaka's French Open 2021 Media Snub Costs BIG TIME, Now At-Risk of 'Default', Say Tennis Officials
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 by tennis officials after refusing to attend the French Open press conference.
The athlete received her fine on Sunday after winning the match against Patricia Maria Tig.
Grand Slam tournaments issued a statement after the athlete was fined. "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," tennis officials said.
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The group had also threatened Osaka that it's possible for her to be suspended in future Grand Slam tournaments if the violations were to repeat.
"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." the statement read.
Osaka had only agreed to do an on-court TV interview after her victory on Sunday.
The news came after Osaka had decided to snub the media for the sake of her mental health.
Osaka took to Twitter a few days ago to explain the situation. "I'm not going to do any press during Roland Garros," she wrote.
"I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes' mental health, and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one." she went on.
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The world's no. 2 had also mentioned that athletes often sat in press conferences and asked questions that they heard before or even questions that bring doubt in their minds, "I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me," she added.
"I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity," she concluded.
Before this, Gilles Moretton, French Tennis Federation president, had expressed his opinion on Osaka's attitude towards the media. According to him, it is a "phenomenal error" and "not acceptable."
The 23-year-old athlete has not commented after she was fined, but she recently posted a cryptic tweet that reads, "Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable."