Naomi Osaka Fined, Threatened Disqualification Over Media Boycott
Ranked world number two, Osaka was reluctant to partake in media conferences as it take a toll on her mental health.
Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 for refusing to interact with the media after her first-round win at French Open and was threatened expulsion from Grand Slam tournaments if she continues to do so.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner and sport's highest-earning female athlete, defeated Romania's Patricia Maria Tig 6-4 7-6 (7-4) late on Sunday but didn’t turn up to face media. The legislation of the Grand Slam states that players can be fined up to $20,000 for failing to meet media obligations which include speaking at a post-match press conference.
A joint statement from four Grand Slam organisers stated that the 23-year-old prodigy faces 'substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions'.
"A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players to engage with the media, whatever the result of their match, a responsibility which players take for the benefit of the sport, the fans and for themselves," the statement read.
"We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences," it added.
"As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions, including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions," the statement further pressed.
Osaka responded by tweeting, "Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable." The top-notch athlete had said on the eve of the tournament that she would decline any media obligations, claiming news conferences take a toll on her mental health.
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