Defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek expressed a more positive view about her relationship with the media on Sunday amid the controversy over Naomi Osaka’s boycott of press conferences at the event.
Osaka was fined $15,000 and was threatened with default after boycotting the media after her first French Open match over the weekend. It was Swiatek who said that dealing with reporters could be beneficial, according to Reuters.
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“I’ve never felt like I need to work on that because that is pretty natural for me,” said Swiatek, who was asked whether she works with psychologist Daria Abramowicz on how to handle the media.
“Since I was even like 13 and 14, we had some Polish media that was always interested, that always wanted to talk with me. Step by step I was getting more and more experience and I was kind of learning how to have a good relationship with media … it is not bothering me. I think the process should be the same for every tennis player.
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Swiatek, who turned 20 on Monday, won the French Open last year. She is also coming off making it to the fourth round of the Australian Open in January. She was the youngest woman to win the French Open since Monica Seles did it in 1992.
“It’s much, much different when you suddenly get a success. It’s just important to find the balance,” she said. “In my opinion, just having a good relationship in media, it can help you. If I’m going to have a problem or something, I’m going to tell you that I’m not comfortable talking with that.
“If we’re going to treat each other with mutual respect, I think everybody can benefit from that.”
Tournament organizers said Osaka was fined for failing to “honor her contractual media obligations.” The four-time Grand Slam tournament winner addressed the fine in a tweet after her 6-4, 7-6 (4) victory over 63rd-ranked Patricia Maria Tig.
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In response, Osaka tweeted: “Anger is a lack of understanding. Change makes people uncomfortable.”