May 30 (UPI) – Women’s tennis star Naomi Osaka was fined $ 15,000 for skipping her mandatory press conference after her first round victory at Roland Garros on Sunday.
Osaka could face more severe punishment, including the Grand Slam tournament failure, if it continues to avoid media appearances.
In a joint statement from the four Grand Slam tournaments, the organizations said they contacted Osaka after previously announcing that it would not participate in its media obligations and reminded it of the consequences set out in the 2021 rulebook if it does. was withdrawing.
All four tournaments, which also include the US Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open, said there could be additional and greater consequences if Osaka continues to avoid speaking to the media.
As might be expected, repeated violations result in more severe penalties, including tournament non-compliance (Code of Conduct, Article III T.) and the initiation of an investigation into a major infraction that could result in serious harm. larger fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct Article IV A.3.) “, read the statement.
“We want to stress that rules are in place to ensure that all players are treated exactly the same, regardless of their stature, beliefs or achievements. As a sport, there is nothing more important than to ensure that no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to devote time to participating in media engagements while the others honor all their commitments. “
The organizations have called player engagement with members of the media as a “central part of Grand Slam rules” and an important part of the sport’s growth. The statement also referred to Osaka’s citation of his sanity in his decision to avoid press conferences and said it was a priority of Grand Slam tournaments.
Second seed Osaka defeated Patricia Maria Tig 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round at Roland Garos. Osaka participated in an on-court interview after the victory and said his clay court game was a “work in progress”.
After the game, Osaka tweeted: “Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable.”
Osaka, 23, who has won four Grand Slam singles titles, is set to face Ana Bogdan in the second round on Tuesday.