Ash Barty reacts to Naomi Osaka not doing media at French Open

Ash Barty reacts to Naomi Osaka not doing media at French Open

The Grand Slam tournaments have fined Naomi Osaka $15,000 for her media boycott at the French Open, announcing in a joint statement that if she continues to ignore her media obligations, she could be further sanctioned - including defaults and suspensions from the major tournaments.

Naomi Osaka has warned of her plans to boycott the media, saying it has negative impacts on her mental health. She is also coming off making it to the fourth round of the Australian Open in January.

"Following [Osaka's] announcement, the Roland-Garros teams asked her to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to check on her well-being, understand the specifics of her issue and what might be done to address it on site", the statement read.

"Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations".

Grand Slam tournament players are contractually required to attended news conferences if requested.

The 23-year-old Japanese tennis star took to Twitter to explain her decision.

"I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris", Osaka wrote in a statement released via her Twitter account Monday.

As for the future, it remains to be seen how things will proceed at Grand Slam tournaments. The maximum fine, of course, is not a big deal to Osaka, the world's highest-earning female athlete thanks to endorsement contracts totalling tens of millions of dollars.

Osaka has never been past the third round at the French Open, a clay-court tournament.

That surprisingly stern warning was delivered in a statement signed by the leaders of the four Grand Slam tournaments: Gilles Moretton, the new president of the French Tennis Federation; Mike McNulty, the new head of the U.S. Tennis Association; Jayne Hrdlicka, the head of Tennis Australia; and Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Club, which runs Wimbledon.

Osaka says the current post-match press conference set-up is "archaic" and her stance is part of her mission to change the system. "You don't go into a final wanting to be the runner-up". But the Grand Slam leaders emphasized that the news media still played an important role.

The burning question now is if Osaka will have the opportunity to play in more 2021 Grand Slams.

After her match, Osaka agreed only to a cursory on-court TV interview.

Osaka is scheduled to face Romania's Ana Bogdan in the second round.

"The WTA welcomes a dialogue with Naomi (and all players) to discuss possible approaches that can help support an athlete as they manage any concerns related to mental health, while also allowing us to deliver upon our responsibilities to their sport and their fans to speak to the media surrounding their competition, allowing them the opportunity to share their perspective and tell their story".

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