Naomi Osaka’s media boycott backfired, according to one ex-Olympian, ahead of the star’s comeback to tennis in Tokyo.
Former three-time Olympian Jarko Nieminen has questioned Naomi Osaka’s decision to skip press conferences at this year’s French Open.
Former Olympian Jarko Nieminen claims that Naomi Osaka’s choice to boycott the media backfired. Osaka skipped both of her press conferences at this year’s French Open before withdrawing due to the reaction she experienced as a result of her decision. And Nieminen, a former Finnish tennis player who competed in three Olympics, has questioned whether Osaka’s decision was the best for her career.
The Japanese star hasn’t played since withdrawing from Roland Garros, but she’ll be back in action on Sunday in the women’s singles event at her home Olympics.
Her choice to skip press conferences during the French Open, though, drew criticism from some quarters.
And Nieminen is one of the critics of the decision.
“Press conferences are part of the deal if you are a top athlete in a global sport,” he told Tennis365.
“All of the players understand that they are paid to play, and they rely on the media to help them advertise it.”
Despite his reservations over the decision, Nieminen wishes Osaka success.
“Obviously, I wish Osaka well,” he continued, “but we must understand that there are drawbacks to many jobs.”
“I just hope the people surrounding her can better control the situation because some players may see the media as one of them.
“Her intention was not to attract as much attention as possible, but the final consequence is that she does.
“We all want the best for her, so hopefully she can find a way to deal with it.”
Alex Coretja, a former Olympic bronze winner, agreed with Nieminen, but cautioned against putting too much pressure on her.
“We need to give her time and not pressurize her because she needs this room to feel great again,” he explained.
“This has been a really painful story, and perhaps it will assist other athletes in expressing their sentiments.
“Life has so many challenges, and I was startled by Naomi since she always appeared to be happy, but she was in pain.
“Anyone can be affected by this. It’s quite tough to teach people how to deal with such situations.
“You’re performing for yourself and millions of others in your native country.
For some people, that is a difficult situation to deal with.”
During the “Brinkwire Summary News,” Osaka ignited the Olympic flame.