Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has been fined $15,000 by the Grand Slam organizing committee for skipping the post-match news conference following her first-round win at the Roland Garros on Sunday.
The tournament officials not only issued a fine against the World number 2’s decision of not entertaining the post-match interviews for the tournament but also warned the 23-year-old about a possible expulsion from the French Open and the rest of the Grand Slams, including The Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open if she keeps on missing the post-match conference sessions.
The four-time Grand Slam champion had previously announced her decision to boycott media before the start of the tournament in order to raise awareness regarding the mental health of players. Osaka is well known for using her platform to raise awareness about social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 26, 2021
In a joint statement, the board of the four Grand Slams said that they approached Osaka to offer support and ensure her well-being, and reminding her of the media obligations and consequences of not attending them which applies equally for every player according to the rule-book.
However, despite their warnings, Osaka kept to her word and was issued a fine of $15,000 by the Roland Garros referee. The controversy went on further when Roland Garros updated a now-deleted tweet that insinuated Osaka’s dissent to the rules by comparing to those who adhere. As a reply, she wrote: “Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable.”
Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka made a winning return to the French Open defeating Patricia Maria Tig 6-4, 7-6(4) on the opening day of the Roland Garros. Seeking for her fifth Grand Slam, Osaka will lock horns with yet another Romanian national Ana Bogdan in the second round. The Japanese ace recently made it to the highest-earning female athlete for the past year, who bagged a record of $55.2 million.