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French Open deletes tweet after mocking Osaka

May 31, 2021 12:31 IST
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Former doubles world number one and tennis pundit Rennae Stubbs said the post was "humiliating" for Naomi Osaka.

IMAGE: Former doubles world number one and tennis pundit Rennae Stubbs said the post was "humiliating" for Naomi Osaka. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

The French Open has deleted a post on its Twitter feed which praised players for attending media conferences as Naomi Osaka's press boycott continued to overshadow the Grand Slam.

The tweet showed pictures of Rafa Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff engaging with the media along with the caption: "They understood the assignment."

Osaka announced before the start of the tournament that she would not do any press conferences to protect her mental health, prompting criticism from French Tennis Federation President Gilles Moretton.

 

Osaka was fined $15,000 for skipping her news conference after her first round win on Sunday and was warned of possible expulsion from Roland Garros and future Grand Slams if she failed to meet her media commitments.

The Twitter post was deleted but not before being shared widely. It drew criticism from social media users but also supportive responses.

Former doubles world number one and tennis pundit Rennae Stubbs said the post was "humiliating" for Osaka.

"I understand your attempt at making a point but this isn’t a good look," she tweeted.

"I mean, these particular players are a great look for tennis but making a player feel guilty & humiliating her is NOT a good look for a tennis fed."

Osaka started her French Open campaign with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Romanian Patricia Maria Tig and participated in the courtside interview.

She later wrote on Twitter: "Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable."

The Japanese world number two next faces Romanian Ana Bogdan.

Venus Williams, Coco Gauff pair up to play doubles at French Open

Venus Williams will team up with teenager Coco Gauff -- less than half her age -- for a tilt at the French Open doubles title, with the American duo set to take on 13th seeds Ellen Perez and Zheng Saisai in the opening round on Wednesday.

Gauff, 17, burst onto the scene in 2019 when she knocked out her idol Williams in the opening round at Wimbledon before claiming another upset win over the 40-year-old, seven-time Grand Slam champion at last year's Australian Open.

Williams has previously won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, all with her younger sister Serena who is chasing a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title in Paris.

Gauff has won three doubles titles in her career to add to her two singles crowns.

The pair are also in singles action with Gauff scheduled to take on Aleksandra Krunic in the first round on Tuesday while Williams faces 32nd seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.

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Source: REUTERS
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