Tennis champion Naomi Osaka risks big fine after refusing to meet press

World tennis number two Naomi Osaka will not face the media at the French Open.

The 23-year-old said expecting players to answer questions after a defeat was “kicking a person while they’re down”.

Japan’s Ms Osaka – who has won four Grand Slam competitions – said:

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one.

“We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”

Ms Osaka added the decision was “not personal”.

She said any fine she expects to receive will go to a mental health charity.

The French Open starts on May 30th.

About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV’s Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.