Present on the main draw at the Roland Garros 2021, former WTA number one Naomi Osaka overtook Patricia Maria Tig in two sets to go up against Ana Bogdan in the next game. However, Naomi preferred to give up the tournament after letting it be known not to speak to the press for the duration of the event, which was followed by the threat from the management of a hefty fine and expulsion.
Coming back into the open for the first time since the French Open (Naomi did not participate in the grass season and at Wimbledon 2021 – ed.), Osaka, as also reported by EssentiallySports, said: “I repeat: I love the press, but I don’t love all the press conferences.”
The current world number 2 of tbe WTA ranking continued: “I have always had a fantastic relationship with the media and have given numerous in-depth and individual interviews. I always try to answer sincerely and with the heart. I’ve never been trained in the media, so that’s the way it is. As I see it, the athlete’s trust and respect for the press are mutual.”
Naomi Osaka: “The format of the press conference is outdated”
According to Osaka, in a nutshell, there are serious flaws in the system: “Anyway, in my opinion, and I want to specify that it’s just my opinion, not that of every player on the Tour, the format of the press conference itself is outdated and in need of a major update.
I believe we can make it better, more interesting and more enjoyable for both sides. Less subject vs object, more equal. I made it known that I wanted to skip the press conferences at Roland Garros to practice self-care and preserve my mental health.
I remain of my opinion. On reflection, it seems to me that most tennis writers disagree with me. For most of them, the press conference is sacred and cannot be questioned. The intention has never been to inspire the revolt, rather to look critically at our workplace and ask if it can be improved.”
Finally, Naomi spoke about herself and the Tokyo Games: “I do not wish it to anyone and I hope that measures can be adopted in favor of athletes, especially fragile ones. So I ask the press for a certain level of privacy and empathy next time.”