Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka has announced that she will not speak to the press at this year’s French Open, stating that news conferences can be a burden on a players' mental health.
The world number 2 took to social media to announce to her 963k Twitter followers she would not be doing any press during Roland Garros. She went on to state that, “Sometimes we’re asked about questions that bring doubt into our minds - I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me”.
Osaka has announced that the ‘considerable’ fine that she expects will go towards a mental health charity.
The 23-year-old has never got past the third round at Roland Garros, but comes into the French Open on good form. She has won her last two Grand Slam competitions at the US and Australian Opens.
Osaka has also said that the decision was not anything personal against the tournament or some of the journalists that she holds a good relationship with.
"I'm writing this to say I'm not going to do any press during Roland Garros," Osaka wrote on Twitter.
"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."
She added: "I've watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well. I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they're down and I don't understand the reasoning behind it."
Author: Fred Dobberson