French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton believes that the issues raised by Naomi Osaka at the French Open could lead to a serious problem within tennis.
Osaka’s refusal to attend press conferences to protect her mental health during Roland Garros led to a hefty fine and ultimately her self-imposed withdrawal from the tournament.
The situation has led to a serious debate within the sport about mandatory media commitments for the players and whether change is needed to protect them more.
However, Morreton believes that although it is an issue that needs to be addressed, he is worried that it may damage the sport in the future as the press play a fundamental part in attracting interest.
“The problem she (Osaka) raised is a real problem, a real topic for discussion,” Moretton told the New York Times.
“Perhaps we will change the rules, and then everyone only comes to press if they want to.
“You will see that there are not many who will come.
“Everyone will be their own journalist. (Players will) speak when they want to speak, say what they want to say, respond only to questions they want to answer. And I think it’s a serious problem.
“So yes of course to measures that will provide help and support to players, but let’s keep the freedom of the press to ask a question that might be uncomfortable and that interests the public, who are the ones who provide a living for the athletes and the personalities.”
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