Tagged in: Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka fined $15K for not speaking to French Open media, could face tourney default for avoiding press

Naomi Osaka has been fined $15,000 after skipping her required news conference following her first-round victory at the French Open on Sunday and could face stiffer punishment, including default from the tournament, if she continues to avoid speaking to the media.

In a joint statement from the four Grand Slam tournaments, the organizations said they had written to Osaka after she revealed she would not be participating in her media obligations during the fortnight and reminded her of the consequences stated in the 2021 rulebook should she opt out.

The four tournaments, which also involve Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, said there would be further and greater consequences if she continues to decline her media obligations.

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“As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.),” the statement read.

The Slams said the decision was a matter of fairness.

“We want to underline that rules are in place to ensure all players are treated exactly the same, no matter their stature, beliefs or achievement,” read the statement.

“As a sport 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 honor their commitments.”

The organizations called the engagement of players with the media a “core element of the Grand Slam regulations” and an essential part of the sport’s continued growth.

The statement also referenced Osaka’s citing of her mental health in her decision to not speak with the media and said it was a priority of the tournaments. The second-seeded Osaka defeated Patricia Maria Tig 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Court Philippe Chatrier on Sunday.

She participated in an on-court interview following the victory and called her game on clay a “work in progress.”

She will face Ana Bogdan on Tuesday in the second round.

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2 time major champ Osaka names Fissette coach

Reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka will be coached by Belgian Wim Fissette for the 2020 season.

World No.4 Naomi Osaka will have a new coach by her side as she embarks on her title defense at the Australian Open next month.

The two-time Grand Slam champion will be coached by Belgian Wim Fissette in 2020, Osaka’s team confirmed to WTA Insider on Sunday. 

The former World No.1 worked with three coaches last season, as her longtime partnership with Sascha Bajin ended following her second Grand Slam victory in Melbourne becoming the first top-ranked tennis player from Japan.

Osaka released coach Sascha Bajin, who also helped her claim the 2018 US Open. Osaka then hired former Clemson University All-American Jermaine Jenkins, a former hitting partner for Venus Williams and a national coach for the USTA’s Player Development program, as her coach in March.

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After parting ways with Jenkins following the US Open, Osaka won back-to-back titles at the Toray Pan Pacific Open and the China Open with her father, Leonard Francois, as her coach before pulling out of the season-ending Shisheido WTA Finals Shenzhen with a shoulder injury.

Osaka is the latest in a decorated dossier of clients for Fissette, who has worked with former World No.1s, including Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep, as well as Johanna Konta, Sara Errani and Sabine Lisicki.

The Belgian first broke into the elite coaching ranks at the turn of the decade, as he guided compatriot Cljisters during her first comeback to the WTA, in which she won three Grand Slam titles and returned to the World No. 1 ranking.

Osaka is set to begin her 2020 season at the Brisbane International in January, alongside six of the world’s Top 10.

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