Naomi Osaka to skip press conferences at French Open


Naomi Osaka announced on Wednesday via social media that she will not be doing any press conferences during the French Open.

The four-time major champion and No. 2-ranked women’s tennis player in the world said her decision was motivated by her mental health. 

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

Osaka added that part of the decision stems from past athletes’ interviews following losses.

“I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it,” she wrote. 

Players can be fined up to $20,000 for skipping a news conference at a major, a number that Osaka undoubtedly can afford after making a reported $55.2 million last year. Osaka added that she hoped her fines would be put toward a mental health charity. 

“If the organizations think that they can keep saying, ‘do press or you’re gonna be fined’, and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece or their corporation then I just gotta laugh,” she continued.

The main draw at the French Open begins Sunday. Osaka has never advanced past the third round at Roland-Garros.