Naomi Osaka runs the risk of being defaulted from the French Open after refusing to fulfil her media commitments.
The World No 2 was fined $15,000 for not attending the press conference after her 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Romania’s Patricia Tig in the first round at Roland Garros.
Osaka had announced earlier in the week that she would not attend the mandatory post-match press conferences due to ‘mental health.’
“Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations. The Roland-Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine, in keeping with article III H. of the Code of Conduct,” a Roland Garros statement read.
“A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players to engage with the media, whatever the result of their match, a responsibility which players take for the benefit of the sport, the fans and for themselves.
“These interactions allow both the players and the media to share their perspective and for the players to tell their story.
“The facilitation of media to a broad array of channels, both traditional and digital, is a major contributor to the development and growth of our sport and the fan base of individual players.
“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences.
“As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.).”
According to the statement, all four Grand Slams and jointly written to her asking her to open dialogue and reassert their commitment to mental health issues.
“Finally, all Grand Slams remain committed to continually reviewing and discussing opportunities, together with the Tours and the players, to improve every aspect of the player experience, including with the media,” the statement concluded.
“But we consider this is only ever achieved through respectful and constructive discussions.”
Osaka has found little support from her fellow players over her stand too. Even players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic believe media engagement was a part of life on professional tour.