Naomi Osaka’s decision to skip post-match press conferences at the French Open hasn’t gone down too well with the tennis world, with former player Sam Groth saying it is ‘fraught with hypocrisy.’
“Her announcement, to me, is misguided and fraught with hypocrisy,” the Australian wrote for the Herald Sun.
“You don’t want to speak with a group of journalists who follow the tour around the world, yet you’re happy to post images to millions of faceless followers on social media platforms?
— Sam Groth (@SamGrothTennis) May 27, 2021
“Naomi is showing a total disregard for the sport that has made her the superstar she is. Players of her standing have a responsibility to promote their sport and do what they can to protect its future.”
While Groth agreed that there should be a dialogue over players’ mental health, he believes Osaka’s decision was a “slap in the face to a sport that has given her everything.”
French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton also publicly condemned Osaka’s decision.
“It’s a deep regret, for you journalists, for her personally and for tennis in general,” Moretton said.
“I think this is a phenomenal mistake. It shows to what extent today (the need) that there is strong governance in tennis.
“What is happening there is, in my opinion, not acceptable. We will stick to the laws and rules for penalties and fines.”
‘Part of life’
World No 1 Novak Djokovic, when asked about Osaka’s decision, agreed that facing the media after a tough loss could be upsetting but it was a part of the life on tour.
“I understand that press conferences sometimes can be very unpleasant,” Djokovic told reporters after beating Federico Coria 6-1, 6-0 to reach the Belgrade Open semifinals on Thursday.
“And it’s not something that you enjoy, always, you know, especially if you lose a match or something like this.
“But it is part of the sport and part of your life on the tour. This is something we have to do, otherwise, we will get fined.
“I mean, that’s at least the case on the men’s side. I don’t know about the rules on the women’s side. So that’s all I can say.”