WTA says it would welcome dialogue with Naomi Osaka

By Reuters 17m in the past

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LONDON – The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) stated it would welcome dialogue with world quantity two Naomi Osaka over her determination to boycott press conferences at this year’s French Open.

Japanese participant Osaka, who stated the character of questions can affect on gamers’ psychological wellbeing, has acquired assist from a number of athletes however was slammed by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) for her stance.

After American nice Serena Williams, Osaka instructions the very best profile of any feminine tennis participant and her determination has left the WTA in a clumsy position.

“Mental health is of the utmost importance to the WTA and for that matter, every individual person,” the organisation stated in an announcement on Friday. “We have a team of professionals and a support system in place that look after our athletes’ mental and emotional health and well-being.

“The WTA welcomes a dialogue with Naomi (and all gamers) to debate doable approaches that may assist assist an athlete as they handle any considerations associated to psychological well being.”

However, it stressed that it also had responsibilities to the fans and public, adding: “Professional athletes have a duty to their sport and their followers to talk to the media surrounding their competitors, permitting them the chance to share their perspective and inform their story.”

Retired Formula One champion Nico Rosberg, former tennis player Zina Garrison and British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith have voiced their support to world number two Osaka, although men’s world number one Novak Djokovic says that post-match press conference, while unpleasant, are part of the job.

“It’s not one thing that you simply take pleasure in, all the time, , particularly for those who lose a match or one thing like this,” Djokovic said. “But it’s a part of the game and a part of life on the tour. This is one thing we now have to do, in any other case, we are going to get fined.”

French Tennis Federation (FFT) President Gilles Moretton described Osaka’s action as a “phenomenal mistake”.

“What is occurring there’s, for my part, not acceptable. We will stick with the legal guidelines and guidelines for penalties and fines,” he said.

According to the Grand Slam rule book, players can be fined up to $20,000 for skipping a media conference but Osaka said she was ready to accept any sanction.

Osaka hoped the “appreciable quantity” that she expected to forfeit would go towards a mental health charity.

“I’m scripting this to say I’m not going to do any press throughout Roland Garros,” Osaka, who lives in the U.S., wrote on Twitter. “I’ve usually felt that folks haven’t any regard for athletes’ psychological well being, and this rings true every time I see a press convention or partake in a single,” she added.

“We’re usually sat there and requested questions that we have been requested a number of occasions earlier than, and I’m simply not going to topic myself to those who doubt me.”

Osaka, who according to sports business website Sportico earned $55.2 million over the past 12 months, has in the past used her platform and considerable press attention to highlight issues of police violence and racial inequality.


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