Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has been fined $15,000 for failing to conduct a press conference following her first-round victory at the French Open, a statement on behalf of all four Grand Slam tournaments said.
She was also threatened with disqualification if she continues not to speak with the media.
“Following the lack of engagement by Naomi Osaka, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open jointly wrote to her to check on her well-being and offer support, underline their commitment to all athletes’ well-being and suggest dialog on the issues,” the statement read. “She was also reminded of her obligations, the consequences of not meeting them and that rules should equally apply to all players.
“… 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. As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.).”
Osaka beat Patricia Maria Tig in the first round on Sunday and did not speak with the media afterward.
The 23-year-old said before the French Open that she wanted to take a stand against the impact of interviews on the psychological welfare of all players.
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” Osaka said in an Instagram post.
Osaka will face Ana Bogdan in the second round. It’s unclear if she is willing to risk disqualification from the tournament.