French Open: Skipping Press briefing to cost Naomi Osaka $15K

Naomi Osaka has been fined $15,000 for boycotting Press Conference after her first round win at the French Open. Courtesy Al Jazeera.

Skipping the post-match Press conference at the French Open will cost Naomi Osaka $ 15,000.

Naomi Osaka had announced that she would not attend the post-match Press conference at the Rolland Garros. The World No. 2 women’s singles player kept her word after edging past 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig on the opening day. But at a cost! She has been fined $15,000 for bypassing the mandatory Press conference.

Going into the second Grand Slam of the year, Naomi had made it public that she would not attend Press conferences in Paris. “I am not going to do any Press during Roland Garros. I have often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a Press conference or partake in one,” she had stated in a long twitted message.

Naomi didn’t spare the organisers either. “However, if the organisers think that they can just keep saying ‘do Press or you are gonna fined’, and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centre piece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh.

“Anyways, I hope a considerable amount that I get fined for will go towards a mental health charity,” she stated.

The matter might get more complicated for the four-time major winner if she sticks to her stand of bypassing the media.

The Grand Slam tennis tournaments – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open – have issued a joint statement after today’s incident. It is stated that the 23-year-old could face stiffer consequences it she continued to “ignore her media obligations.”

A $15,000 to $ 20,000 penalty shall not matter much for the world’s highest-earning female athlete. She features in the overall 29th position with $37.4 million in Forbes’ Top 100 highest paid athletes in the world for 2021.

It will be interesting to see how the Grand Slam organisers’ warning is going to affect her. What could be the stiffer consequences if she sticks to her stand?