Tennis Prose



Osaka To Boycott Media at Roland Garros

Reigning Australian and US Open Open champion Naomi Osaka is no stranger to political crusades and she has announced her latest concoction today. Osaka has declared that she will not talk with the media after her matches at Roland Garros.

The move is a controversial one as it’s a slap in the face to an entity which has fawned over her career and all of her political grandstanding, such as last year’s campaign to celebrate the names of a slew of slain black criminals and lawbreakers who were tragically killed by police for their crimes or resisting arrest and police commands.

Osaka apparently has grown weary of being asked the same questions over and over at tennis press conferences and is retaliating. In an Instagram statement, Osaka said:

“…I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true when I see a press conference or partake in one. We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve already been asked multiple times before or we’re asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people (reporters) who doubt me…I’ve watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well. I believe that whole situation is kicking people while they are down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Me not doing press is nothing personal to the tournament and a couple of journalists have interviewed me since I was young so I have a friendly relationship with most of them. However if the organizations (ITF, WTA) think 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. Anyway, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go to a mental health charity…”

Osaka has now managed to wage war against media incompetence and or insensitivity while promoting champion athletes as victims of insensitive questioning, therefore she is now empowering herself to boycott and avoid the media.

It’s a very interesting new initiative by Osaka, one that surely will get a lot of press play from the world media but surely her major sponsors will have mixed emotions about all the lost valuable air time and exposure her interviews would have given to the brands that pay her millions to promote.

In the end, it might be another big nothing burger by Osaka, a calculated, contrived media grandstanding op which accomplishes nothing really of any importance.

The only real losers may be the media and fans who will miss hearing her say she trusted the process, she played a very good match, she could not do do it without her team, and she hopes she can play her best tennis in the next round.



  • Scoop Malinowski · May 26, 2021 at 7:50 pm

    Wonder if Osaka felt compassion for all the hate and attacks President Donald Trump endured from the media for over five years???

  • Ilovetrump · May 27, 2021 at 2:38 am

    I knew you’d find a way to turn this into something about Trump, you’re so transparent lmao

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 27, 2021 at 10:43 am

    Imagine the media uproar and outrage if Djokovic decided to not talk to any reporters at Roland Garros.

  • Doug Day · May 27, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    Transparency, if you look it up im pretty sure is a hallmark of professionalism in journalism. One can see how that might get lost when your name is a Trump Derangement Syndrome cry for help. As for Naomi, with a little role-play, coached by Billie Jean’s staff Im sure she could come to unleash her inner Meghan Markel.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 27, 2021 at 10:41 pm

    Hey Naomi!, Tennis reporters lives matter! TRLM!

  • Bill McGill · May 28, 2021 at 11:44 am

    It seems to me that Naomi has two seemingly valid points in what is otherwise an arrogant and off-putting statement:

    1. Tennis reporters ask the same questions over and over again. I accept that this is tiresome and annoying for the players, but of course it ignores the fact that the audience does not consist primarily hardcore tennis fans that watch post-match interviews at dozens of tournaments a year.

    2. It might be healthier if the losing player was permitted to give post-match interviews after a longer interlude or even the following day, at the player’s option. That doesn’t sound like an entirely unreasonable request to me.

    Osaka is never going to reach Barry Bonds-level antagonism with the press, but she’s closing in on Serena Williams. She has made it very easy for me to decide that Iga Swiatek is my favorite young WTA player.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 28, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Bill, you have to wonder if nike has their fingerprints on this too. Agree that a lot of tennis press conferences are an exercise of repeat questions but it was nice to see Rafa and Medvedev express support and respect for the tennis media. It reminded me of an old quote by the former world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey who said, “I was a pretty good fighter. It was the writers who made me great.” Somebody needs to show that quote to Osaka. Here is a Biofile interview I did with Jack via his wife Deanna…

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 28, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Bill, your idea to delay press conferences for hours or even a day for losing players is compassionate of you but to my knowledge no player has even suggested or requested this innovation. It seems most players if not all would prefer to get it over with asap. As some do, some rush straight to the press interview room straight from the court, to get it over with. Well ahead of their scheduled time which the wta and atp schedule typically 30 minutes to an hour after the match concludes.

  • Bill McGill · May 28, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    You may be right and players might not often take the option, but there doesn’t seem to be any compelling reason not to offer it. There have been some painful to watch moments. Federer AO 2009 final. Roddick 2015 Wimbledon. Serena Williams after the 2021 AO loss to Osaka. That Konta 2019 Wimbledon loss. I don’t know. Just a thought. It always struck me as a little cruel making the lost do a post-match interview, even if it is sometimes compelling TV.

    Also, there seems like a little bit of cognitive dissonance for Osaka to be the one making this point after she kind of goaded Coco Gauff into doing that US Open post-match on court with her, saying she would feel better about it rather than crying in the showers.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 28, 2021 at 10:22 pm

    Bill, logistically to wait 24 hours to do a press conference doesn’t help the deadline writers. The losing players should be able to man up, if they cry so what. Djokovic and Del Potro both cried on court after their incredible 1R Olympic match in Rio, only time I ever saw both winning and losing player cry on court after a match. So what if players cry in press conferences, crying is healthy. Look, Osaka can take a hike. The tennis media does not need her. There are enough interesting stories and players to keep the tennis media busy. If Osaka wants to discriminate against the tennis media, so be it.

  • Doug Day · May 29, 2021 at 9:10 am

    Asian concept of saving “face”: to be publicly confronted or corrected by a peer or subordinate. To have someone you dont yourself respect expose you feels especially insulting. Are there loathsome press people? Indeed, but countless personalities avoid or even jujitsu barbed questions rather than run. The opposite of the fake honor that is cancel culture: consider a volley.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Doug, if there are loathsome press people covering tennis and participating in press conferences they mask themselves. Everybody in the tennis media behaves well and does not do anything to insult or intentionally hurt a player. Most all of the tennis media respects and likes all the players. Very rarely do you see a reporter try to set up and hurt a player. The only example that comes to mind happened at US Open. Richard Krajicek made the comment at Wimbledon about how most of the WTA players were fat and out of shape. Of course he was crucified for it and apologized and the storm passed over. At US Open a female reporter tried to re-punish him again for it by asking a question about his comment that he had apologized for. While he suffered for about one second, I immediately asked him a question about his win over Todd Martin in five sets, what he thought about the future potential of the young Todd Martin. So he didn’t have to answer her and reignite that whole fiasco. I don’t know who the woman was but she gave me a dirty look. Krajicek approached me after and thanked me. We ended up doing a Biofile. But that’s the only time I remember a reporter trying to intentionally hurt a player in a press conference.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Honored to be interviewed by Daniel Fernandez for En Cancha of Chile regarding Cristian Garin’s potential at 2021 Roland Garros.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 29, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Osaka needs to handle tough questions like Mardy Fish who was inspired by a tough question which sparked his career best results. Equality right? Why cry over something when it can be used as inspiration.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 30, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Sveral prominent players have expressed support for the tennis media including Rafa, Medvedev, Barty, Navratilova. The Grand Slams have stated they will fine Osaka $15,000 for her media boycott and may reserve the right to default her from the tournament. The French Open said it reached out to Osaka to discuss her mental health issues but Osaka did not respond, which suggests this whole episode is just another silly charade by Osaka to garner media attention on her terms.

  • Bil McGill · June 1, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Scoop, I think the reporter asking Tennys Sandgren about some of his social media posts at the 2018 AO was attempting to hurt Sandgren’s reputation and falsely suggested he was a white supremacist when his social media activity indicated no such thing. I don’t know that reporter or whether they are otherwise a loathsome person, but that was one of the more disrespectful things I’ve seen in tennis reporting.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 1, 2021 at 9:45 am

    Bill, they have intimidated and silenced Sandgren. I talked with him at Tallahassee Challenger 2019. He mentioned how later in 2018 ESPN and NYT came to do one on one interviews for big features about him. He said they were trying to set him up and he didn’t take the bait. He’s a smart guy and can make his point without offending, very intelligent well spoken young man. Well guess what? Espn and NYT both failed to get the dirt they wanted. They ended up not running Sandgren features. Their attempted hit pieces failed, so they did not want to give Sandgren any favorable press. So anyone who claims there is no leftist agendas by the mainstream tennis media is either outrageously naive or an ignorant imbecile.



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