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Dirk Gerlow on Naomi Osaka: "Honest, but the timing and style were embarrassing" |  Roland Garros

Dirk Gerlow on Naomi Osaka: “Honest, but the timing and style were embarrassing” | Roland Garros

Despite her young age, Naomi Osaka quickly became an extremely influential tennis player. The Japanese are not afraid to use his stature in world tennis to raise some issues.

Osaka previously took a clear stand on racism and police brutality. For example, during the US Open in 2020, she wore mouth masks with the names of the fallen victims in this vein.

In the run-up to Roland Garros, Osaka took a new position. Announced a boycott of the press, in order to draw more attention to the mental health of tennis players.

Roland Garros’ organization did not take this position, fined Osaka on Sunday and also threatened to be disqualified. On Monday evening, the Japanese chose their next flight: withdrew from Roland Garros.

“It’s world news,” our commentator Dirk Gerlot from Paris replied in “LAT”. “She is a global star, the number 2 in the world and the winner of two other Grand Slam tournaments. Her withdrawal is the news of the first week.”

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“What she says is very honest, but with the timing and the way she said it, she was wrong.

“Her message – caring for the mental health of herself and the other players – is good, but it is inappropriate to do so right before the tournament starts.”

“I understand her problem. She says she has suffered recurrent depression after the US Open 2018, that she is shy and that she has difficulty speaking publicly in front of the international press.”

Osaka said she felt vulnerable in Paris: “She grew up in a hard court and it was on this roof that she had her biggest success. The pebbles and grass are not right for her at all.”

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“She wanted to protect herself, but the timing and the method were wrong. As she apologized to the media, she did not want to harm journalists.”

“The press conference system is outdated and she wants to talk about it, but she does not want to constantly confront this championship with this problem. It is withdrawing and then it is clear that it is going through a difficult period.”