Naomi Osaka's media blackout at the French Open to protect her mental health could cost her $140,000
Naomi Osakacould be fined more than $140,000 for not speaking to the media at Roland-Garros.
- Osaka has chosen to go on a media blackout for mental health reasons.
- The 23-year-old says she hopes the fines she will receive will be donated to a mental health charity.
Naomi Osaka's decision to skip press conferences at the
The 23-year-old said in a statement on Wednesday that she would not "do any press during Roland-Garros" because "people have no regard for athletes' mental health."
"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," she said.
According to the Grand Slam Handbook, players are required to attend post-match media conferences unless injured or physically unable to appear. Violating said rule carries a fine of up to $20,000.
If Osaka reaches the final of Roland-Garros, she will play seven matches. Miss all of her media commitments for those games, and the Japanese star could be fined as much as $140,000.
She could also face extra fines for failing to participate in pre-tournament press conferences.
Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), however, says there is no chance Osaka will escape the fines for skipping media conferences, despite doing so for mental health reasons.
"It's a deep regret, for you journalists, for her [Osaka] personally and for tennis in general," Moretton said on Thursday, according to l'Equipe.
"I think this is a phenomenal mistake. It shows to what extent today there is strong governance in tennis. What is happening there is, in my opinion, not acceptable. There are rules, laws. We will stick to the laws and rules for penalties and fines."
He added: "It is very detrimental to sport, to tennis, to her probably. She hits the game, she hurts tennis. This is a real problem."
Osaka says she hopes the fines she will receive will be donated to a mental health charity.
"If the organizations think they can just keep saying, 'Do press or you're gonna be fined', and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh," she said.
"I hope the considerable amount that I will get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity."
Osaka faces Romanian Patricia Maria Țig in the first round of the French Open on Sunday, looking to add to her four Grand Slams so far, including this year's Australian Open. Her previous best finish at the French Open was a trio of third round exits in 2016, 2018, and 2019.
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