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Rafael Nadal said Friday that without the media, “we will not be the athletes as we are today” as Naomi Osaka has become increasingly isolated over her decision to boycott all obligations of the French Open Press.
The Japanese star Osaka caused an uproar at the Roland Garros tournament by announcing that she would refuse to engage in any media activity in the tournament, claiming that she feared the effect this would have on her mental health.
The four-time lead winner believes the traditional post-match probe is like “kicking people when they’re in trouble”.
Nadal, the 13-time French Open champion, said that while he respected Osaka’s decision, media coverage drove the sport’s success.
Nadal, 20, said, “I understand it, but for me without the press, without the people writing the news and the achievements we’re making around the world, we probably wouldn’t be the athletes as we are today.” winner.
“We will not get the recognition we have around the world, nor will we be popular.”
Osaka, the world number two, risks fines of up to $ 20,000 for missing press conferences at the French Open that begins on Sunday.
Ashley Barty, the 23-year-old’s closest competitor and winner of the 2019 French Open, said doing media duties is an integral part of the job.
“We know what we had in common as professional tennis players,” said the 25-year-old Australian.
“I can’t really comment on how Naomi is feeling or the decisions she makes. Sometimes, press conferences are tough of course but it’s also not something that bothers me.
“I had no problems answering questions. It’s not something that bothered me much.
“And it definitely doesn’t keep me awake at night what I say or hear or what you guys ask me about.”
The president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) has criticized Gilles Moreton Osaka.
“It’s a colossal mistake, and it shows how strong governance is necessary,” he said on Thursday.
What is happening in my opinion is unacceptable. We want to promote tennis. “
Defending champion Ija Swiatik, who is close to Osaka, said she was happy to speak to the press.
“It’s important because not everyone is a professional athlete and not everyone knows what we’re dealing with on the field.” “It’s good to talk about that,” said the 20-year-old pole on Monday.
However, she also believes that it is essential to have a support system that “separates you from hate or something like that”.
World number two Daniel Medvedev could be forgiven for his strained relationship with the media thanks to the French Open’s record of four matches he played, and lost four.
“I always try to come to the press conference in a bad mood or in a good mood,” said the 25-year-old Russian on Friday.
“And I feel like sometimes even in a bad mood I can be in a better mood after talking to you guys.”
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