Why is it compulsory for tennis players to hold a press conference at each tournament?

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Since world No.2 Naomi Osaka decided to boycott the media at the 2021 French Open citing mental health as the reason, the tennis world has continued to debate press conferences. There is now a debate as to whether it is mandatory for tennis players to hold a press conference after every match in a tournament or not.

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From players to the various governing bodies of tennis like the WTA and the FFT, all have criticized Naomi Osaka for her boycott. Many have said that avoiding press conferences is not a solution to improving mental health.

Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a forehand against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It is in fact mandatory for every player to hold a post-match press conference at any tournament. If someone refuses to do so, they could face the consequences and also be fined, which can range from $ 1,000 to $ 20,000.

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World No.2 Osaka has yet to receive a fine as she hasn’t skipped a press conference so far. Even though she has decided to boycott the media completely at Roland Garros 2021, she has not yet done so. There’s even a chance she’ll turn around on the matter after receiving such a backlash.

Besides Naomi Osaka, who are the other tennis players who have skipped press conferences in the past?

There have been players in the past who have paid fines because they refused to attend the press conference after their matches. The list includes figures like Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams.

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia complains during his men’s quarterfinal match against Milos Raonic of Canada on day nine of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

World number one Djokovic did not face the press after his disqualification from the 2020 US Open. As a result, the Serb had to pay a total fine of around $ 20,000.

Likewise, seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams also skipped the press conference when she lost in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open. As a result, the American player had to pay $ 5,000 in lieu of punishment.

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Thus, Osaka can also face very harsh consequences if they miss a press conference at Roland Garros 2021. It will be intriguing to see if the young sensation changes her decision.

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