“Her Confidence Was Completely Shattered”: Sister Mari Explains Why Naomi Osaka Decided to Boycott Press Conferences at French Open 2021

Published 05/30/2021, 11:11 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 24: Naomi Osaka of Japan speaks to media following her Women’s Singles third round defeat to Coco Gauff of the United States of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)


Four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka has become the center of every discussion in the tennis world. However, it’s not her game but her decision to boycott press conferences at French Open 2021 that is making headlines.

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Consequently, a storm of players, critics, fans and others have massively challenged her decision.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Thus, to help her case, Osaka’s sister Mari has opened up on the current situation. In essence, the former Japanese player gave an overview of the entire scene happening presently.

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Read More: “Don’t Mess With Us” – Australian Legend on FFT’s Thoughts About Noami Osaka’s Press Boycott at French Open 2021

Sister Mari details why Naomi Osaka boycotted the presser at French Open 2021

Mari revealed that a family member came up to Naomi and remarked she’s bad at clay. She added that even the media persistently reminded her of her poor record on the red dirt.

“When she lost in Rome R1, she was not ok mentally. Her confidence was completely shattered,” Mari wrote. Everybody’s remarks and opinions got to her, the younger sister disclosed further.

But, to have a shot at winning Roland-Garros, the reigning Australian Open champion needed belief.

“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,” Mari added.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

However, the Grand Slam Board has given the Japanese a warning already. If she keeps boycotting the press conferences, she is looking ahead at hefty penalities and even default.

Mari continued that she did not know what Osaka would do next, but she fully supports her sister. She ended with one of her own experiences. 

“When I lost my one WTA match, where I had to do a press conference afterwards, I broke down in the room unfortunately and then saw headlines after of me, crying. It was embarrassing, and it’s forced on players. Some can take it, and some struggle with it,” Mari concluded.

Hopefully, the two parties involved will find a middle ground to settle this. Presently, Osaka has received a $15000 fine for missing the press conference after her first match.

Read MoreSerena Williams to Become a Part of History During First Round of French Open 2021

Osaka hits back on the critics and the Grand Slam Board decision

In a considerably subtle manner, Osaka revealed her distress about the whole mess. “Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortably.”

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After defeating Patricia Tig 6-4, 7-6(4), Osaka will meet Ana Bogdan in the French Open 2021 second round. What would she do, abide by the rules or take the risk of severely affecting her career?

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Watch this storyNovak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Venus Williams and Others’ Alternation With the Chair Umpire at French Open 2021

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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