Naomi Osaka will not take questions from the media at the French Open after insisting the nature of press conferences impacts on the mental health of players.
Japan’s four-time Grand Slam champion said expecting players to answer questions after a defeat amounted to “kicking a person while they’re down”.
The 23-year-old posted on Twitter: “I’m writing this to say I’m not going to do any press during Roland Garros.
“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.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 26, 2021
“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.
“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 are down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it.”
Osaka insisted the decision was “nothing personal” against the tournament and that she hopes the “considerable” fine she expects to receive will go to a mental health charity.
The French Open gets under way in Paris on Sunday.