Former World No. 7 Daniela Hantuchova has taken a dig at Naomi Osaka for skipping press conferences.
Osaka caused discussion when she skipped a press conference, citing mental health reasons. This week, Osaka burst into tears during a press conference. However, she gathered herself, answered the question and finished the conference.
Hantuchova is of the opinion that skipping press conferences is disrespectful to tournaments and those part of it. She took a dig at Osaka for doing so.
“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 said, as reported by Tennis World USA.
“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 an hour or an hour to talk about what you have just done and a sport you love,” Hantuchova said.
What to do
Hantuchova said she understood where Osaka was coming from. She offered solutions to the problem and pressure faced by players like Osaka.
“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,” she concluded.