On Sunday, the French Open began with plenty of drama as Naomi Osaka, one of the favorites, received a financial fine. She had been penalized $15000 after she refused to appear for the news conference that was mandatory following her win in the first round.
Osaka Can Be Disqualified From The French Open
It is possible for Osaka to face further punishment, including disqualification from the French Open, if she keeps avoiding the media conferences. The 4 Grand Slam organizers issued a statement jointly saying they had communicated with Osaka on the matter.
Osaka had stated that she will not take part in her obligations to the media during the 15 days of the French Open. The organizers claimed they told her about the possible consequences that were in the rulebook for 2021 if she opts out.
The organizers stated that it is to be expected that repeat violations will bring on tougher sanctions. This includes disqualification from the French Open (and other tournaments) as per Article III T in the Code of Conduct. This can also trigger an investigation regarding a major offense that can result in higher fines as well as suspensions from other Grand Slams, according to Article IV A3 in the Code of Conduct.
The Slams claimed this was an issue of fairness. The organizations saw media engagement as an integral element of the regulations of the Grand Slams. The statement also pointed to Osaka citing mental health as the factor behind her decision. However, media engagement must be a priority, they said.
Naomi Osaka, the second seed, won 6-4, 7-6 (4) against Patricia Maria Tig On Sunday. She had taken part in an interview on the court after the victory in the French Open. She said that her clay game was still something she was working on.