Tennis

Naomi Osaka faces disqualification if her media boycott continues

Japanese star Naomi Osaka was yesterday threatened with disqualification from the French Open if she continues her media boycott, officials said.

"We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences," said a statement from the four Grand Slam tournaments.

"As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions, including default from the tournament."

World No. 2 Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam title winner and sport's highest-earning female athlete, was fined US$15,000 (S$19,800) yesterday for refusing to hold a press conference after her opening win against Patricia Maria Tig, whom sh e beat 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

Osaka claims news conferences are detrimental to her mental health. She believes traditional post-match inquests are akin to "kicking people when they're down".

But she did agree to a quick on-court TV interview on Court Philippe Chatrier yesterday.

"For me, playing on clay is a work in progress," said the US and Australian Open champion.

"Hopefully the more I play, the better I will become. It's a beautiful court. I've only played two matches here, one before the roof and one now so, hopefully, I'll keep it going." - AFP

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