“Change Makes People Uncomfortable”: Naomi Osaka Hits Back After Huge Backlash and $15,000 Penalty at French Open 2021

Published 05/30/2021, 5:19 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka during her fourth round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Impressions change instantly, especially if you are well-known in the sporting world. Having enjoyed stupendous success earlier this year by winning the Australian Open and by also receiving the Laureus Sportswoman of the year award, Naomi Osaka has now become the subject of intense criticism in the tennis world.

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The Japanese player’s recent decision to skip pressers at the French Open 2021 has received huge backlash from fans, critics, and journalists alike. Osaka had a below-par clay-court season this year, with losses against Karolina Muchova and Jessica Pegula in Madrid and Rome respectively.

Tennis -WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 12, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her second road match against Jessica Pegula of U.S. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

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Naomi Osaka was issued a fine of $15,000 by French Open organizers

However, the four-time grand slam champion made a winning start to her French Open campaign by defeating Patricia Maria Tig in two tight-sets 6-4,7-6(4). Osaka took time to get used to the conditions in Paris as Maria Tig kept on fighting till the end.

After her victory, Naomi Osaka didn’t attend the press conference and stuck to her decision. Soon after, Roland Garros issued a fine of $15,000 dollars to the Japanese for skipping the pressers.

To make things worse for Osaka, all the four grand slams together have issued a statement warning the youngster of stricter punishments like getting defaulted from majors if she continues to skip press conferences in future.

It is a stern warning indeed from the four big entities of the sport. While Osaka is yet to reveal whether her decision sticks only to Roland Garros or will she follow the same for other grand slam as well. Whatever might be her decision, it appears that the young Japanese start has angered the big bosses of tennis.

“Anger is a lack of understanding”, Osaka tweeted after receiving the penalty

As the repercussions of her decision will soon be revealed, it looks like the youngster is not going to back down any time soon. After the joint statement by all four slams, Osaka posted a tweet.

anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable”, wrote the two-time Australian Open champion.

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The tweet is a clever jibe aimed at critics and to all the grand slam organizers. The sudden decision taken by Osaka has been creating ripples on the tennis tour with most players acknowledging the importance of media.

But, both parties(Osaka and four slams) should find a middle-ground in dealing with this issue. Of course, emphasis should be given to players’ mental health at all costs. At the same time, players should also believe that it’s journalists that play an active role in promoting the sport and the player.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Trigger of a Major Offence Investigation”: Grand Slam Board Warns Naomi Osaka of Getting Defaulted From French Open 2021

25 days ago

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Sagar Ashtakoula

231 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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