French tennis chief describes Naomi Osaka’s French Open media snub as a ‘phenomenal error’

Naomi Osaka masked up

French Tennis Federation (FFT) President Gilles Moretton has hit out at Naomi Osaka’s decision to skip press conferences at this year’s French Open, saying her decision shows why “it is necessary to have strong governance”.

Four-time major winner Osaka caused a stir on Wednesday when she announced that she won’t take part in any media duties at Roland Garros as she feels it puts an unfair burden on players and negatively impacts their mental health.

“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one,” the world No 2 said in a statement on Twitter.

Naomi Osaka won’t talk to media at French Open due to impact on mental health

Although she has received from some athletes, Moretton made no secret of the fact that he disagrees with Osaka’s decision.

“It is a phenomenal error and it shows to what extent it is necessary to have strong governance,” he said. “What is happening is not, in my opinion, acceptable. It is tennis we want to promote.”

French Open Tournament Director Guy Forget hopes the 23-year-old will change her mind once the tournament gets underway.

“As the tournament progresses, we will see how she behaves. I don’t know what her attitude will be in the coming days, but it doesn’t send a very positive message,” he said.

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