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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Naomi Osaka facing disqualification from French Open over media boycott

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka announced on Wednesday that she will refuse to do media events during the French Open, and she has already been fined for missing one of her press conferences. If it continues, she could be disqualified from the tournament.

Osaka has been fined $15,000 for skipping her mandatory news conference following her first-round win over Patricia Maria Tig on Sunday, according to a joint statement released by the four Grand Slam tournaments. The organizations said Osaka has been advised that she will face more severe sanctions if she continues with her media boycott, including a potential default from the French Open.

“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.),” the statement read.

The statement went on to say that the “rules are in place to ensure all players are treated exactly the same, no matter their stature, beliefs or achievement.” The organizations also said the mental health of players is “of the utmost importance” but that engagement from players is necessary to understand their perspective and how they feel their experiences could improve.

Osaka, 23, shared the news on social media Wednesday night that she will not be engaging with the media during the French Open. She cited the need to protect her mental health as the reason for her decision and said she would pay her way out of any fines she faces.

Osaka exited a press conference early following a tough loss at Wimbledon in 2019. You can see that video here. She has never advanced past the third round at the French Open.

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