The Grand Slam tournaments have fined Naomi Osaka $15,000 for her media boycott at the French Open, announcing in a joint statement that if she continues to ignore her media obligations, she could be further sanctioned — including defaults and suspensions from the major tournaments.
“A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players to engage with the media, whatever the result of their match, a responsibility which players take for the benefit of the sport, the fans and for themselves,” the statement said.
The joint statement was signed by the organizers of the four Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Osaka won her first-round match against Patricia Maria Tig 6-4, 7-6 (4). Following the win, she participated in an on-court interview and called her game on clay a “work in progress.”
Just days before the tournament started, Osaka announced she would not be doing any news conferences in Paris, citing her mental health.
“If the organizations 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 centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh.”
In the statement, the Grand Slams said the athletes’ mental health is important and they are open to dialogue with Osaka and others on the topic, but they reminded her of her media obligations because they are required to treat all players equally.
“As a sport, there is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honour their commitments.”