Naomi Osaka has been warned, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the world’s highest-paid female athlete from fighting authority when it comes to speaking to the media, or in this case NOT speaking to the media after a return to the French Open.
The tennis star won her first-round match over Patricia Maria Tig on Sunday in straight sets, but Osaka didn’t get out of Sunday’s actions without having to face a fine.
The $15,000 fine took place after a French Open ref insistuted the penalty for Osaka not showing up at a mandatory postmatch news conference.
She was warned that she risked stronger penalties, including default from the tournament, if she continued not to fulfill her media obligations set forth by the tourney.
Osaka is a four-time major singles champion who is one of the sport’s biggest stars.
Now that she’s already broken the rules she faces a tough decision, which is if she will stick with doing no press during the tourney, which again will draw some big fines from those that run the show at the French Open.
Osaka has stated already that she wants to preserve her “mental health” by avoiding repetitive and potentially negative questions from journalists.
The Grand Slam leaders put out a statement about the ongoing Osaka situation, stating Sunday they simply want one of their biggest stars to treat the post match press conferences the same as any other player would.
“We want to underline that rules are in place to ensure all players are treated exactly the same, no matter their stature, beliefs or achievement,” the statement said.
“As a sport there is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honour their commitments.”
We will see if Osaka changes her ways as the tourney continues, or is okay taking on the fine levied by the Grand Slam leaders.