David Haggerty, the president of the International Tennis Federation, recently spoke at length on a multitude of subjects, including the media position of Naomi Osaka and the importance of the press in tennis.
Ahead of the start of Roland Garros this year, Naomi Osaka announced that she would skip her mandatory press conferences in order to protect her sanity and bring about a change in the way media interactions are conducted. She then withdrew from the tournament after her victory in the first round.
His decision sparked a huge conversation regarding athlete mental health, with top players in all disciplines expressing their support for Osaka. A number of athletes, including gymnastics legend Simone Biles, have even followed her example by straying from their profession a bit.
In a conversation with City AM, Haggerty said tennis is one of the few sports that allows players to have an open discussion with stakeholders to try to find a compromise and move forward.
“We are champions for people to sit down at the table and talk in the best way,” Haggerty said.
The ITF president added that it was important for the press to continue to cover the sport in the future, but stressed that there must be “mutual understanding” between the players and the media.
“But moving forward, we think it’s important that players are covered by the media and that the media cover our events, so it’s important that this continues. Stakeholders together,” he said added.
Naomi Osaka is on another break from tennis
After her retirement from Roland Garros, Naomi Osaka took a break from tennis and even skipped Wimbledon. She returned to action at the Tokyo Olympics, where she was beaten by Marketa Vondrousova in the third round.
Osaka went on to compete in Cincinnati and the US Open, where she suffered a premature exit at the hands of eventual runner-up Leylah Fernandez.
After her third round outing at Flushing Meadows, the 24-year-old announced that she would take another break from the sport as she no longer liked competition.
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Osaka recently revealed that she hopes to resume operations soon, although she has not provided any further details on her return plans.