Nadal questions Osaka’s bizarre media snub

Rafael Nadal has questioned Naomi Osaka‘s bizarre press snub ahead of the French Open, crediting the media for raising the profile of the game.

Osaka stunned the tennis world in the lead-up to Roland-Garros, when she stated her intention to avoid speaking to the media for the entirety of the tournament.

The world No.2’s decision has sparked fierce debate of the importance of the press on social media, and Nadal went in to bat for journalists.

“I understand her, but on the other hand, for me, I mean, without the press, without the people who normally are travelling who are writing the news and achievements that we are having around the world, probably we will not be the athletes we are today,” he said.

“We’re not going to have the recognition that we have around the world, and we will not be that popular.

“I understand her but the media are a very important part of our sport.”

Tennis players are currently required to attend post-match news conferences at major tournaments if members of the media ask them to.

Osaka is likely to get fined for her media absence and she indicated that she hoped the “considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity”.

Osaka is not the only global athlete to enforce a personal media blackout, with NBA star Kyrie Irving also doing the same earlier in the 2020-21 NBA season.

Irving and his team, the Brooklyn Nets, were hit with fines before the seven-time All-Star eventually relented and began to speak to reporters once again.

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