Tour, gamers react to Osaka: Speaking to media a part of job

Naomi Osaka’s declaration that she received’t take part in information conferences throughout the French Open was a pure, if barely awkward, matter for dialogue on a event media day already awkward by nature as a result of it was performed through video convention.

“Me, I’ve no issues” coping with journalists, Medvedev added as he responded to a question from a journalist in one of many afternoon’s navel-gazing moments. “I attempt all the time to return to a press convention, dangerous temper or good temper. And I really feel like, even typically within the dangerous temper, I may be in a greater temper after speaking to you guys.”

Different gamers, together with 13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal and top-ranked lady Ash Barty, and the ladies’s skilled tennis tour mentioned chatting with reporters is a requirement of their line of labor.

“With out the press … in all probability we won’t be the athletes that we’re right this moment,” Nadal mentioned. “We (aren’t) going to have the popularity that we’ve around the globe, and we won’t be that well-liked, no?”

Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam champion who’s ranked No. 2, mentioned through a Twitter put up Wednesday that she was not going to take part in the usual back-and-forth with the media in Paris — the kind of factor each athlete in each sport does repeatedly.

“There’s loads of fact in what she mentioned, however then once more, there’s additionally the expectations and the commitments that include being knowledgeable athlete, as properly, and that is one,” mentioned Johanna Konta, a three-time main semifinalist ranked twentieth, “so it is about discovering … the appropriate steadiness.”

At Grand Slam tournaments, gamers are topic to fines of as much as $20,000 for skipping information conferences if they’re requested to talk and don’t.

That is not a lot of a disincentive for Osaka, the world’s highest-earning feminine athlete, who framed it as a psychological well being challenge and mentioned she hopes no matter comes out of her prize cash could be donated to a charity in that space.

“We’re typically sat there and requested questions that we’ve been requested a number of instances earlier than or requested questions that carry doubt into our minds and I’m simply not going to topic myself to folks that doubt me,” Osaka wrote.

On Friday, the WTA Tour reminded Osaka of her “accountability” to work together with reporters.

A press release emailed to The Related Press on Friday by a WTA spokeswoman and attributed to the tour learn partly: “The WTA welcomes a dialogue with Naomi (and all gamers) to debate potential approaches that may assist assist an athlete as they handle any issues associated to psychological well being, whereas additionally permitting us to ship upon our obligations to the followers and public. Skilled athletes have a accountability to their sport and their followers to talk to the media surrounding their competitors, permitting them the chance to share their perspective and inform their story.”

The French Tennis Federation didn’t reply to a request for remark.

“In my view, press is sort of a part of the job. We all know what we join as skilled tennis gamers. … At instances, press convention are laborious, after all, but it surely’s additionally not one thing that bothers me. … For me, personally, doesn’t maintain me up at night time what I say and listen to or what you guys ask me. So I attempt to make it a bit of bit lighter and have a little bit of enjoyable with you guys,” mentioned Barty, the 2019 French Open champion.

“For me, it’s a bit of bit totally different, however I can’t touch upon (Osaka) personally for what she’s going via,” Barty mentioned, “so I suppose you’ll need to ask her that subsequent time you chat to her.”

Who is aware of when that might be?

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Observe Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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Extra AP Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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