Former world No. 7 Daniela Hantuchova believes that skipping press conferences is a bit disrespectful to tournaments and suggested that the least Naomi Osaka could do is to show up to press conferences. Osaka drew lots of attention to herself at the French Open, when she refused to do press conferences due to her mental health wellbeing.
After winning her first round match at the French Open, Osaka pulled out of the rest of the event because she didn't want to be a distraction. At this week's Cincinnati Masters, Osaka broke down in tears during a press conference but returned and finished her presser.
"When you enter a tournament, it’s like saying I will play but only if my opponent plays to my backhand. Or I don’t feel like serving today, so I’m just going to return," Hantuchova told Tennis365.
"It’s a little bit disrespectful to the tournaments, I would say, especially these days when we know how much it takes to run any event after what has happened the last two years. "The least you can do as a professional athlete in any sport is to show up for a press conference.
It’s not rocket science for half and hour or an hour to talk about what you have just done and a sport you love."
However, Hantuchova understands Osaka is not in an easy position
“If you want to take some pressure away, probably the best way to do that is not to be on social media to start with," Hantuchova suggested.
“All the players have so many things to deal with off the court and it is just part of life. “If you need, I personally wouldn’t share that with the world, but if you do, I would seek professional help and maybe go away from the tour and the sport for a little bit to get some perspective and appreciation again.
“The spotlight she (Osaka) has got on her cannot be easy, but doing the press conference is the least any player can do for the tournament”.