Roland-Garros officials have been caught in an embarrassing slip up after tournament organisers revoked, then reinstated media accreditation for a journalist following a supposed joke during a press conference.
After Alexander Zverev’s come from behind win over fellow German Oscar Otte in the first round, journalist Jonathan Pinfield called in, via Zoom, to the post-match press conference.
Pinfield started by referencing the German star’s exchange with the chair umpire before the match, when the 24-year-old sarcastically launched his own boycott attempt after failing to show up on time on court.
“Firstly, let me apologise — I’m really sorry — but I’m running late for the press conference and I’m actually in the supermarket,” Pinfield said.
“I can see that,” a laughing Zverev replied.
The media member continued by asked for time-keeping tips and if the sixth seed wanted anything from the supermarket.
According to the journalist, the joke was that Zverev “was late to his match, so I pretended to be late”.
While Pinfield thought his “joke” was hilarious, the current climate regarding press conferences and the well-being of players in light of Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal led to his accreditation being stripped.
Osaka withdraws from Roland Garros
“Sadly, after Alexander Zverev’s 1st rd media conference, my Roland-Garros media pass was revoked,” Pinfield tweeted. “My appearance in a supermarket (meant as a joke) was regarded as unprofessional.
“Apologies to Alexander, the FFT, Roland Garros organisers, family, friends, colleagues and supporters.”
However, after Zverev heard about the reaction to the gag after his second round win, he called for the media pass to be reinstated.
“He is a very nice guy. I hope he gets his media pass back. I don’t want to be the reason why he lost his media pass,” Zverev said.
“I think he did it more as a joke. But the other way around, I also do jokes sometimes that are taken the wrong way.”
Funnily enough, Pinfield took to social media a couple of hours later with an update.
“Following e-mail correspondence with the FFT in the last few mins, I’ve been informed that my media accreditation will be re-instated for Roland-Garros,” he tweeted.
“I’d like to reiterate my appreciation for all the players and organisers taking part in #RolandGarros. Appreciate your support.”
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