French Tennis Federation president Gilles Moretton has been roasted for failing to take any questions after saying on Monday he “was sorry and sad” that Naomi Osaka had determined to withdraw from Roland Garros.
The Japanese star introduced on Tuesday she was pulling out of the French Open to deal with her wellbeing after revealing she had been affected by psychological well being points.
The resolution comes within the wake of Osaka’s headline-grabbing name to boycott press conferences in Paris. Last week she stated she has “often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health” and forcing gamers to entrance the media after a tricky loss is akin to “kicking a person while they are down”.
Moretton stated on the eve of the event that Osaka’s resolution to not attend obligatory press conferences was a “phenomenal error” and “not acceptable”, however softened his stance on Tuesday after her exit.
“We are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate,” Moretton stated as he learn out a pre-prepared assertion to reporters.
“We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery. We look forward to having Naomi in our tournament next year. As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP, and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes’ wellbeing and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our tournament, including with the media, like we have always striven to do.”
After ending his assertion, Moretton abruptly left, not taking any questions from journalists — ironic contemplating the very motive he was so upset with Osaka was as a result of she wouldn’t reply questions both.
Tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg tweeted: “The immense irony of the FFT President not taking questions from the media in the wake of this Osaka withdrawal is not lost on anyone.”
The Times’ Tennis writer Stu Fraser wrote: “A new entry tonight for PR shambles of the year. Would love to know the thinking behind the FFT president calling a press conference and delivering a short pre-prepared statement on Osaka (that could have easily been sent out via email) without taking questions. Oh, the irony.”
Former Australian tennis official Richard Ings added: “So the FFT handled the Ms Osaka mental health concerns without empathy or sensitivity. Then the FFT President refuses to take questions at a presser. An own goal.”
American sportscaster Jill Martin stated on Twitter: “No questions, eh?”
American political strategist Adrienne Elrod referred to as Moretton’s efficiency “hypocrisy at its finest” whereas rugby presenter Joe Molloy stated: “See Gilles Moretton, of French Federation Tennis, called a press conference, read a statement but refused to take any questions? Ironic doesn’t quite cover it.”
Moretton wasn’t the one tennis official to complain about Osaka’s stance in the direction of press conferences earlier than she took the sensational step of withdrawing. French Open event director Guy Forget stated final week he was surprised by Osaka’s resolution, which he discovered at odds with a event nonetheless going through organizational challenges posed by the continued pandemic.
“As the tournament progresses, we will see how she behaves. I don’t know what her attitude will be in the coming days, but it doesn’t send a very positive message,” Forget stated on Friday.
On Monday the 4 grand slams united and threatened to disqualify Osaka if she continued along with her boycott. But tennis followers turned on the game’s bosses for exhibiting little empathy in the direction of the 23-year-old.
There’s been loads of help from Osaka’s fellow gamers. Sloane Stephens, Coco Gauff and Venus Williams have been amongst these to ship their well-wishes on social media, whereas Serena Williams additionally addressed the matter after her first spherical win in Paris.
“The only thing I feel is that I feel for Naomi. I feel like I wish I could give her a hug because I know what it’s like,” Williams stated after beating Irina-Camelia Begu in straight units. “We have completely different personalities, and individuals are completely different. Not everybody is similar. I’m thick. Other individuals are skinny.
“Everyone is different and everyone handles things differently. You just have to let her handle it the way she wants to. I’ve been there where I’ve been very difficult to walk in (to press conferences) in those moments. But, you know, it made me stronger.”