The French Open kicked off this week, and the Japanese superstar Osaka - the No. 2-ranked women's tennis player in the world - got things underway Sunday with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Patricia Maria Tig.
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam title victor and sport's highest-earning female athlete, was sanctioned for refusing to hold a press conference after her opening 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Romanian world number 63 Patricia Maria Tig.
But if the intent was to limit distractions and find inner calm, she now faces a potentially bigger concern in Paris if she continues to abstain from news conferences.
Moretton said the four major tournaments, and the professional tennis tours, "remain very committed to all athletes' well-being and to continually improving every aspect of players' experience in our tournament, including with the media, like we always have".
"The press is part of the job", she said.
Tennis players are required to attend news conferences if requested to do so.
We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery and we look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year.
The 23-year-old victor of four Grand Slams announced on social media before the French Open that she would be skipping news conferences for the sake of her mental well-being, likening journalists' questions to "kicking a person while they're down".
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In a lengthy statement, the board of the four Grand Slam tournaments said Osaka had been fined for refusing to "honor her contractual media obligations" and faced suspension or expulsion from the event if she continued to snub the press.
But this is the first instance of a top player making it clear in advance that she did not intend to speak with the news media during a Grand Slam tournament.
"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".
Osaka is now the biggest draw in women's tennis. And to reiterate: She did participate in a post-match, on-court interview Sunday.
And that was that from a player who has now strung together 15 successive Grand Slam match wins. As the highest-paid female athlete, she can afford the $15,000 fine and other fines that might come her way.
Osaka, who was next scheduled to take on Ana Bogdan in the second round Wednesday, said she hoped she could have a conversation with officials from the WTA upon her return.
"It's not something that's ever phased me too much". She also revealed that she had written privately to apologise the organisers at the French Open in the days following her decision, although it would seem that the focus of her apology was for the disruption caused by her original decision rather than the rationale behind it. By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.