By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The twenty-three-year old world number two women’s tennis player, Naomi Osaka, has ruffled some feathers by refusing to give a post-match interview after winning her opening match in this year’s French Open at Roland Garros in Paris.
As a result of this refusal, she has been fined US$15,000 for breaching the rules of the competition.
Having been threatened with expulsion from the competition, if she continues to boycott media interviews, she has withdrawn from the event, claiming that such interviews cause her mental anxiety and stress.
In a statement about speaking to the media, Osaka has said:
“I am introverted …. [and] get really nervous and anxious …. [and] have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
“I’m going to take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press and fans.”
Last year, she made US$37.4 million, of which US$ 34 million came from endorsements.
Osaka has really caused a dilemma for the tennis authorities, as well as for her sponsors and her fans.
Being an elite player, post-match media interviews are part and parcel of the game!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘email@example.com’