PARIS — Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 by Grand Slam organizers for skipping a news conference following her first-round win at the French Open on Sunday, and was also warned of possible expulsion from Roland Garros and future majors if she fails to meet her media commitments.
In the run-up to the claycourt major, the world number two announced she would boycott news conferences while in Paris to raise awareness of players’ mental well-being, saying the nature of questions from journalists is like “kicking a person when they are down”.
Osaka started her French Open campaign with a (6-4, 7-6(4)) win over Romanian Patricia Maria Țig and then snubbed the post-match news conference, although the four-time Grand Slam champion did hold a courtside interview immediately after the contest.
The board of the four Grand Slams said in a statement on Sunday that the French Open organizers had asked Osaka to reconsider her position and tried unsuccessfully to speak with her to resolve the matter.
“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 dialogue,” 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.
“Naomi Osaka today chose not to honor her contractual media obligations. The Roland Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine.”
Osaka’s management did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the player published a cryptic message on Twitter.
“Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable,” she wrote. — Reuters