Naomi Osaka accused of ‘making up the rules’ as she withdraws from French Open
Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open.
It comes after the four-time Grand Slam winner declared she would not speak to the media during Roland Garros and was fined $US15,000 for skipping a press conference on Sunday.
Osaka withdrew from the tournament saying “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”.
On Twitter she said she has “suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018” and the pressure of press conferences gives her “huge waves of anxiety”.
But Nine News tennis reporter in Paris, Craig Gabriel, says media conferences are part of the job.
“For her to make a unilateral decision as she did the other day, refusing to do post match media conferences, is just not right because they’re mandatory, and she was just making up the rules to suit herself,” Mr Gabriel told Ross and Russel.
He says mental health support is available through the tournament, Osaka has refused to engage with organisers.
“The administrators and the French Open hierarchy approached her and asked her to reconsider … from what I understand she wouldn’t even speak to them, she turned her back on them,” Mr Gabriel said.
“The way she has handled this is totally incorrect.
“She needs the media. Just remember all of the endorsements. She’s the highest paid female athlete in the world and those companies that are paying her the big bucks want the attention.”
Press PLAY below for Craig Gabriel’s view
3AW Breakfast sports reporter, Jon ‘Ando’ Anderson, agrees.
“That just goes with the territory. If it’s good enough for Federer and Serena Williams … it’s good enough for Naomi Osaka,” he said.
“At the last press conference, which I think was about a month ago, she had 12 questions, four of which were based on her new sponsor.
“She has to go to press conferences and be photographed with the gear and the rest of it.”
Press PLAY below to hear more of Ando’s thoughts
Image: Tim Clayton – Corbis / Getty