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Naomi Osaka refusing to speak to media during Roland-Garros

The four-time Grand Slam champion has shocked the tennis world with a social media post announcing a media boycott for the next fortnight

Naomi Osaka, Roland-Garros Naomi Osaka in practice at Roland-Garros (Panoramic)

Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has announced she will not speak to the media at all during her time at Roland-Garros this year.

Usually at the Slams, players speak to the press prior to the tournament, and will then hold a press conference after their matches, where journalists are able to ask questions. Indeed, players are obliged to do so, otherwise they will be fined.

But the 23-year-old wrote on social media that she is willing to pay any fine levied on her – and cited mental health concerns.

“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: ‘Kicking a person while they’re down’

She went on: “I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.”

And she concluded by adding: “…If the organisations think that 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 centrepiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh. Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.”

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