Serena wants to hug Osaka; others label the world n. 2 as a “princess”

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Osaka’s departure from the event follows his choice to not take part in any media conferences at Roland Garros, initially citing psychological well being causes.

He has since revealed that he had “suffered lengthy durations of despair” after successful his first Grand Slam title in 2018.

Companions of sports activities stars together with Usain Bolt, Kyrie Irving is Venus Williams slso confirmed their help for Osaka by commenting on his Instagram submit, with the latter writing: “So pleased with you. Take care and see you quickly to win!”

Throughout her post-match press convention, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams mentioned, “The one factor I really feel is that I really feel for Naomi. I want I may hug them as a result of I do know what she’s like. As if mentioned, I have been in these positions. “

Nevertheless, different tennis stars have mentioned that media duties are an integral a part of the job.

“Press and gamers and tournaments go hand in hand,” mentioned Victoria Azarenka, two-time Grand Slam champion. “I feel it is rather essential within the improvement of our sport, within the promotion of our sport”.

He added that there have been instances when the media wanted to be extra empathetic.

World Quantity 5 Sofia Kenin acknowledged the pressures of being a younger athlete within the highlight, however mentioned, “That is what you signed up for.”

“That is sport. There are expectations from the surface, from the sponsors and from everybody. You simply need to handle it in some way,” added Kenin.

An out of date observe?

The Osaka retreat raised questions in regards to the relationship athletes have with the media and whether or not or not press conferences are working on the expense of their psychological well being.

“I’m not a pure public speaker and I get big waves of tension earlier than chatting with media all over the world,” Osaka mentioned in her on-line assertion.

Within the Guardian, Jonathan Liew described press conferences as “now not a significant change” however slightly “a cynical and infrequently predatory recreation”, wherein athletes are subjected to “intimate questions within the much less intimate surroundings”.

Different journalists took a much less sympathetic stance.

“Naomi Osaka’s immaturity, preciousness and hypocrisy depart me speechless,” Will Swanton wrote in regards to the Aussie.

“After telling everybody to talk out in opposition to the injustices of this world, he has determined to give up, refusing to present press conferences on the French Open … event and authorities physique at which he’s throwing the fowl.”

Osaka celebrates after beating Tig during the women's singles first round match at the French Open.

Conventional press within the age of social media

Nevertheless, some have underlined the way in which black ladies peered once they revealed their psychological well being difficulties to the media, drawing parallels between British tabloids’ therapy of Meghan Markle.

The Osaka retreat additionally poses a broader debate on whether or not or not athletes nonetheless want conventional media within the age of social media.

Press conferences and different long-standing media environments are now not the one approach for athletes to voice their voices, with on-line platforms making a approach for gamers to speak instantly with followers and management their very own narrative.

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