Andy Murray’s former coach says Naomi Osaka should give up prize money

Kevin Palmer
Naomi Osaka in action

Andy Murray’s former coach Mark Petchey has suggested Naomi Osaka should be allowed to compete in the French Open as an amateur player and receive no prize money, as she continues her media boycott.

The world No 2 has opted not to take part in her contractual obligations in the second Grand Slam of the season, citing mental health issues as the reason for her decision to sidestep all media duties.

Osaka has been warned she faces being thrown out of the French Open should she continue her media boycott if she continues to avoid an aspect of the tournament she does not wish to part take in, with this brief message on Twitter on Sunday evening suggesting she will not be backing down despite a threat of being thrown out of the tournament.

Now Petchey has offered a solution to Osaka’s push to avoid one aspect of her duties as one of the game’s leading stars, as he suggested she should consider declining all future prize money and playing as an amateur player.

“If Naomi Osaka doesn’t want to do press for the events that give her the greatest profile then I am actually fine with that,” said Petchey on Twitter.

“Any player who also plays and doesn’t want to do press it’s their right. The Grand Slams should allow them to compete as amateurs did for no prize money.

“This completely solves the issue. The player gets to do what they want, the Majors keep the best players in their events and the prize money that would have been earned by said player goes into global grassroots tennis.”

If Osaka was to take Petchey’s advice, she would have to play in qualifying events and may well lose many of the endorsements that make her the highest paid female athlete in the world, as those contracts require her to deal with aspects of the media.

Now the tennis world holds its breath as it waits to see whether the French Open authorities will throw Osaka out of the competition for breaking the tournament rules, or whether she decides to step away from the event if the criticism flowing towards her continues.

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