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Grand Slams Pledge To ‘Create Meaningful Improvements’ After Naomi Osaka Row

Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka is the headline act as the curtain goes up at the French Open on Sunday but, win or lose, the world number two will be keeping her thoughts to herself. /AFP

 

The four Grand Slams on Tuesday pledged to “create meaningful improvements” to their tournaments in an effort to avoid a repeat of the Naomi Osaka crisis which hit the French Open.

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Japan’s world number two Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros after she was fined and threatened with expulsion for refusing to carry out press conferences which she claims are detrimental to her mental health.

“We intend to work alongside the players, the tours, the media and the broader tennis community to create meaningful improvements,” a statement by the French, US and Australian Opens and Wimbledon said.

When Osaka was fined $15,000 on Sunday for not appearing at a news conference following her first round win, Grand Slam chiefs warned her of future consequences.

“Repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions,” they said.

On Tuesday, the four Slams said they “empathise with the unique pressures players face”.

However, they added: “Change should come through the lens of maintaining a fair playing field, regardless of ranking or status.”

 

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Written by PH

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