Venus Williams weighs in on Naomi Osaka refusing to speak with media
Naomi Osaka made the decision to withdraw from the French Open on Monday in the wake of her refusal to fulfill her media obligations. Several other tennis stars have shared their thoughts on the situation, and Venus Williams was one of the latest.
Williams, who is now 40 and one of the most experienced players on the tour, was asked if she can relate to Osaka’s feelings on meeting with reporters after matches. The elder Williams sister agreed that it is “definitely not easy to do press I think for any person.” She then explained how she has been able to cope with it throughout her career.
“For me personally how I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will, so no matter what you say or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me,” Williams said, via Jon Wertheim. “So that’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.”
Plenty of athletes have a hard time dealing with the media, but it is part of the job. It’s no different from someone in another profession not enjoying an aspect of their job but having to do it anyway.
Osaka said in a statement on Monday that dealing with the media gives her anxiety. She said she withdrew from the French Open because she felt her situation had become a distraction. Her older sister later explained in a Reddit post that Naomi is having a tough time answering questions about her struggles on clay courts.
What is going on with Osaka sounds very similar to what we saw with Ronda Rousey after she experienced defeat for the first time in the UFC.