Rafael Nadal questions Naomi Osaka's press boycott at the French Open

Rafael Nadal questions Naomi Osaka’s press boycott at the French Open as the world No 3 warns rivals ‘we would not be the athletes that we are today’ WITHOUT the media

  • Rafael Nadal says he respects Naomi Osaka’s decision but doesn’t agree with it
  • The 23-year-old revealed her decision via a social media post earlier this week 
  • She believes the press have a tendency to ‘kick players when they’re down’ 
  • Osaka has won four grand slam titles but is yet to triumph at Roland Garros  

Rafael Nadal has questioned Naomi Osaka’s decision not to participate in press conferences during the French Open, saying the media play an important role in athletes’ careers.

Osaka revealed earlier this week that she wouldn’t speak to the media, after claiming they had a tendency to ‘kick players when they’re down.’  

However, her decision has been met with widespread criticism and Nadal didn’t concur with her sentiments. 

Rafael Nadal has questioned Naomi Osaka’s decision to boycott her media responsibilities

Osaka revealed her intentions not to speak to the press during the French Open on Twitter

‘I respect it,’ said Nadal. ‘I respect her, of course, as an athlete and her personality. 

‘I respect her decision. I don’t know. I mean, we as sports people, I mean, we need to be ready to accept the questions and to try to produce an answer, no?

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

‘We [wouldn’t] have the recognition that we have around the world, and we will not be that popular, no?’

Osaka posted a lengthy statement on Twitter earlier this week explaining the pressures athletes come under when faced with questions from the press.  

World No 2 Osaka cited mental health concerns for her reason to boycott her press duties

The 23-year-old, who was born in Japan and now is based in the United States, has won two Australian Open and two US Open titles.

However, she has yet to go further than the third round at Roland Garros.   

The French Open gets under way in Paris on Sunday as Poland’s Iga Swiatek looks to defend her singles title.

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