Japanese famous person Naomi Osaka was on Sunday threatened with disqualification from the French Open if she persists along with her controversial media boycott, officers mentioned.
“We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations, she would be exposing herself to possible further code of conduct infringement consequences,” mentioned a press release from the 4 Grand Slam tournaments after issuing the world quantity two with a $15,000 fantastic.
“As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament.”
Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam title winner and sport’s highest-earning feminine athlete, was fined for refusing to carry a press convention after her opening 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Romanian world quantity 63 Patricia Maria Tig.
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The 23-year-old had mentioned on the eve of the event that she would refuse to hold out any media obligations, claiming information conferences are detrimental to her psychological well being.
She believes conventional post-match inquests are akin to “kicking people when they’re down”.
However, the 4 Grand Slam occasions — Wimbledon, the French, Australian and US Opens — issued a joint assertion, saying that they had written to Osaka “to check on her well-being and offer support”.
“She was additionally reminded of her obligations, the results of not assembly them and that guidelines ought to equally apply to all gamers.
“Naomi Osaka today chose not to honour her contractual media obligations. The Roland Garros referee has therefore issued her a $15,000 fine.”
After her match on Sunday, Osaka agreed solely to a cursory on-court TV interview.
“For me, playing on clay is a work in progress,” mentioned the reigning US and Australian Open champion on a sun-kissed Court Philippe Chatrier.
“Hopefully the more I play, the better I will become.”
And that was that from a participant who has now strung collectively 15 successive Grand Slam match wins.
Osaka, who has by no means bought previous the third spherical in Paris, fired 39 winners however dedicated 35 unforced errors in opposition to Tig to arrange a second-round duel in opposition to one other Romanian participant, Ana Bogdan.
The Grand Slam heads additionally mentioned Osaka’s refusal to participate in media duties put opponents at a drawback.
“There is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honour their commitments.”
If Osaka was to be disqualified, it might be as notorious as Novak Djokovic’s default eventually 12 months’s US Open the place the world quantity was booted out for hitting a line decide with a ball.
Osaka’s defiant stand overshadowed the opening day of the 2021 French Open.
Petra Kvitova, a semi-finalist in 2012 and 2020, saved a match level earlier than seeing off Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen, 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.
The eleventh seeded Czech, a two-time Wimbledon champion, blitzed 43 winners however served up 11 double faults in opposition to her A hundred and twenty fifth-ranked opponent.
Fresh from her first profession clay court docket title in Madrid, Belarusian third seed Aryna Sabalenka eased previous Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh 6-4, 6-3.
Three-time main winner Angelique Kerber, the German twenty sixth seed and twice a quarter-finalist in Paris, misplaced to Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 6-4.
The win was a 14th successive win for the world quantity 139 Kalinina throughout all tournaments.
Later Sunday, males’s world quantity 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas faces dwelling participant Jeremy Chardy.
The Greek is extensively tipped as a possible champion ought to 13-time winner Rafael Nadal or world primary Novak Djokovic falter.
Tsitsipas has already captured the Monte Carlo Masters and Lyon titles on clay this season.
Also in motion, Sunday is fourth seed Dominic Thiem, the 2018 and 2019 runner-up to Nadal.
US Open champion Thiem faces Spanish veteran Pablo Andujar who defeated Roger Federer on clay in Geneva final week.
In complete, simply over 5,000 spectators a day can be admitted on the Roland Garros web site till June 8 below Covid-19 limits.
That determine will then rise to greater than 13,000 a day because of the federal government’s resolution to lift fan numbers to a 65 p.c restrict of capability.
The primary setback for organisers, nevertheless, is that 9 of their scheduled 10 night periods — an innovation for 2021 — can be performed behind closed doorways.
A authorities curfew of 9 pm won’t be lifted till June 9.