Following rising talent Iga Swiatek chose not to face media after a heartbreaking defeat at the WTA Finals, Naomi Osaka’s cry for change has prompted the change.
In the first round of the year-end finals, Maria Sakkari, who is also enjoying a breakthrough year, overcame a weeping Swiatek.
The 26-year-old was just too strong for the 20-year-old Polish sensation, winning 6-2, 6-4.
Swiatek was off her game, and she was spotted in tears at the conclusion of the match owing to the strain.
After a defeat, players used to be required to face media and explain the game.
Swiatek, on the other hand, preferred to respond to queries through email rather than face-to-face interviews.
This new step is the outcome of Osaka’s earlier this year stand.
After retiring from the French Open and postponing Wimbledon due to mental health difficulties, Osaka has been in the limelight this year.
She said that talking to the media after games compounded her troubles.
Her protest was meant to provoke change in the sport, and it resulted in the WTA revamping its policy to enable players to answer questions and media to spread the answers.
Swiatek took advantage of the better accommodations in her maiden WTA Final appearance.
Following her third-round elimination from the US Open in September, Osaka announced that she will take an extended vacation from tennis.
Following her loss to Canadian youngster Leylah Fernandez, who went on to reach the final, Osaka remarked, “I honestly don’t know when I’m going to play my next tennis match.”
“I’m going to take a vacation from playing for a bit,” she says.
Osaka was fined $15,000 by all four Grand Slam tournaments.
All four Grand Slam tournaments—Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open—released a joint statement after she kept her vow not to talk to the press following her first-round triumph on May 30.
“Today, Naomi Osaka elected not to fulfill her contractual commitments to the media. “As a result, the Roland-Garros referee has fined her $15,000 in accordance with article III H. of the Code of Conduct,” they stated.
“The Grand Slams place a premium on the mental health of players playing in our events and on the Tours.”
Despite this guarantee, the organizations maintained that the fee was necessary to ensure that other participants were treated fairly.
“We want to emphasize that regulations are in place to guarantee that all players are treated equally, regardless of their status, beliefs, or accomplishment,” the statement stated.
“As a sport, nothing is more vital than ensuring that one player has an unfair edge over another, which is regrettably the case in this circumstance if one player refuses to devote time to media duties while the others all follow through.”
Osaka was also cautioned that if she continues to shun the media, she might be disqualified or perhaps suspended.