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Sport Why there's nowhere for Naomi Osaka to run

08:10  02 june  2021
08:10  02 june  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

Strongarm reaction to Osaka's major boycott

  Strongarm reaction to Osaka's major boycott The French Tennis Federation has come up with a tough reaction to Naomi Osaka's planned press boycott.That's according to Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge, with Osaka facing the prospect of being the first star knocked out of the French Open if she doesn't aim up.

And Naomi Osaka has had enough. She has faced down countless opponents on her stratospheric rise to the top of tennis, but this week the world's No. 2 put down her racket and walked away from the probing and prodding of the press. Before players even hit the court, there ' s a seemingly endless list of testing, travel restrictions, quarantining and social bubbles to adhere to, said Daria Abramowicz, sports psychologist to Polish player, Iga Swiatek. This tightly restricted environment "really effects relationships, it effects stress levels, it effects emotional well being in general," according to

Naomi Osaka (大坂 なおみ, Ōsaka Naomi , Japanese pronunciation: [o̞ːsäkä näo̞mi], born October 16, 1997) is a Japanese professional tennis player.

Unfortunately for Naomi Osaka, the questions will keep coming. There's nowhere to run and certainly no place to hide when you're a superstar traveling the world and playing on the biggest stages in tennis.

Naomi Osaka was fined after boycotting her post-match media conference at Roland-Garros. © Getty Naomi Osaka was fined after boycotting her post-match media conference at Roland-Garros.

Some of the questions may be repetitive. Some may even be a bit negative, though for the most part those in the tennis media tend to treat top players with kid gloves.

Regardless, it's part of her job to answer them. That's not going to change, even with Osaka's withdrawal from the French Open after refusing to appear at the news conferences every other top player accepts as part of the job.

Osaka's bombshell Roland Garros withdrawal

  Osaka's bombshell Roland Garros withdrawal Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Roland Garros the day after being fined for skipping media duties, revealing depression.Osaka won her round one match against Patricia Tig on the opening day of the French Open but went through with her announced press boycott. It earned her a $US15,000 fine and the threat of default from the Grand Slam event.

British broadcaster Piers Morgan has accused Naomi Osaka of "cynical exploitation" – writing after her sister said the tennis ace' s confidence had been "shattered" in a deleted post a day before her departure from the French Open. "So her solution was to block everything out. No talking to people who are going to put doubt in her mind. She’ s protecting her mind – hence why it’ s called mental health. "I don’t know what she is going to do in the future when the tournament pushes back and threatens to default her but I fully support my sister’ s actions because she’ s just trying to do what’ s best for her.

Naomi Osaka said she did “not want to be a distraction” after quitting the French Open on mental health grounds – in reality, this misguided melodrama should raise questions over what she was doing there in the first place. Announcing her decision to walk away from the clay courts of Roland-Garros after the first round According to her statement, Osaka will now take some time away from tennis, which most right-minded observers will hope can give her the space she needs to think about where she goes from here . A protracted absence from the sport is not what anyone wants – that much is clear.

Only now she'll have even more questions to answer.

That's not entirely Osaka's fault, though she did herself no favours by the clumsy way she handled her mini media revolt in Paris. She blew off her first post-match news conference, after declaring earlier in a posting online that she didn't want to hear the same questions over and over and saying that reporters tend to kick players while they are down.

In other words, she didn't want to answer questions about why she didn't play better on clay.

Osaka rebounded a bit in a second statement announcing her withdrawal, and that's where it gets tricky. She revealed she had suffered long periods of depression after winning the US Open in 2018 and that she suffers great anxiety when faced with having to answer questions from journalists at news conferences.

'Disappointment and anger': Tennis reacts to Osaka

  'Disappointment and anger': Tennis reacts to Osaka Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw from Roland Garros has prompted an outpouring of reaction across tennis.Osaka quit the French Open after boycotting her first round press conference, as planned; which saw her fined and threatened with disqualification in a joint statement by the four Grand Slams. Osaka, a four-time Grand Slam winner and the world No.2, revealed that she had suffered major depression and anxiety issues in the past few years, partly triggered by media appearances.

And Naomi Osaka has had enough. She has faced down countless opponents on her stratospheric rise to the top of tennis, but this week the world’ s No. 2 put down her racket and walked away from the probing and prodding of the press. These often male-dominated press conferences are hugely intimidating for the losing player, Soutar told CNN. “They are probed for reasons why they lost, and journalists looking for their own little pieces of dirt,” he said. It’ s a daunting prospect for any athlete, let alone Osaka , who admitted on Twitter she was “not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of

While there have been several instances of tennis journalists stepping beyond the realm of respectability, it must be said that most of them carry out their duties with the utmost level of professionalism and respect for the players on tour. Naomi Osaka failed to capture this nuance in her original Naturally, there will be players who have an inherently more difficult relationship with mental health, social anxiety and depression, and I don't think that should make them any less deserving of taking the court. And while Osaka clearly didn't want to be subjected to questions about her clay court

We all can - and should - be sympathetic to that. Depression and anxiety can be devastating and debilitating, as anyone who has suffered from them or dealt with a family member who has them knows so well.

Nobody should begrudge Osaka's decision to withdraw from a major championship because she's having trouble coping with those issues. Indeed, we should all support her efforts to improve her mental health while dealing with everything else that comes with being a global star at the tender age of 23.

But let's make this clear: This isn't a media problem. It isn't a news conference problem.

Frankly, until Osaka said she would not show up for her news conference and then blew off tournament organisers who wondered why, no one even knew there was a problem.

There's nothing inherently wrong with a system that requires athletes who are paid millions of dollars to perform to be asked about their play afterward. There's also nothing wrong with reporters asking an occasional question that may not fit the positive narrative Osaka wants when writing about the newest star in tennis.

Legend fears for Osaka's career after French exit

  Legend fears for Osaka's career after French exit The leaders of the four Grand Slams have reacted to tennis star Naomi Osaka's stunning Roland Garros exit.The pledge came in a statement signed by the same four tennis administrators who threatened the possibility of disqualification or suspension for Osaka on Sunday if she continued to skip news conferences.

Naomi Osaka made the right decision. Mental illness is serious and it is always an act of courage to step away to deal with personal issues. Emphasis on the word personal. It’ s becoming too fashionable for one person’ s experience to transform into a demand for everybody else "I genuinely wish Naomi well," Owens stressed, prior to emphasizing how "personal struggles are not universal, nor should they be". "The concept here is simple. I have people in my family who struggle with alcoholism.

The tennis star Naomi Osaka announced over Twitter on Monday that she was pulling out of the French Open tournament in Paris, after being fined for not appearing in a postmatch news conference. In her statement, Osaka said that she had been feeling "vulnerable and anxious" before the start of the championship and thought it better "to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences." The Japanese born player who now resides in the US won her four Grand Slam championships on hard courts, but has never gone past the third round playing on the French Open' s

It's part of the reason why tournaments like the French Open sell out expensive seats every year. It's a lot of the reason Forbes said Osaka made $47.7 million in 2019, most of it in endorsements from companies that expect Osaka to generate lots of press for their products.

Her compelling story of winning back-to-back major championships beginning at the age of 20 combined with her Japanese-Haitian heritage made her a star. But, as the stars who came before her understood well, part of the deal every player accepts is that they answer a few post-match questions at tournaments, win or lose.

"I understand her," Rafael Nadal said. "(But) without the press, without the people who normally is traveling who are writing the news and achievements that we are having around the world probably we will not be the athletes that we are today."

Just why Osaka picked the opening of the French Open to make her ill-advised stand isn't quite clear. She may not have wanted to be asked about her struggles on clay, but the question is a legitimate one she easily could have given a noncommittal answer to and moved on.

She picked a media boycott instead, then followed it with a withdrawal when it became obvious her position was untenable among both tournament officials and her fellow players.

Frankly, the people around Osaka should have stepped in long before it got this far. They should have let her know that if she was willing to answer questions about her new Nike apparel line she should have been able to figure out a way to answer questions about her tennis.

Instead, she painted herself into a corner, then was forced to walk away. No one was a winner, including a major championship that badly needed her star power on the women's side.

Hopefully, the time off serves Osaka well. Assuming her issues are as deep as she says - and there's no reason to assume otherwise - a long break may be just what she needs.

Just understand that there will be even more questions when she returns.

Sponsorship masterstroke behind Osaka withdrawal .
A few years ago, a star athlete dropping out of a tournament over mental health might have been seen as a sign of weakness. Today, at least for Naomi Osaka's corporate sponsors, it is being hailed as refreshingly honest.That would explain why so many of them have stuck by Osaka after the four-time Grand Slam champion announced Monday that she was withdrawing from the French Open because she didn’t want to appear for the requisite news conferences that caused her “huge waves of anxiety.

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This is interesting!