'The heir apparent': Tennis correspondent Graeme Agars on Naomi Osaka's decision

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 1 Jun 2021, 8:43PM
Naomi Osaka lifts her second Australian Open title. (Photo / Getty)
Naomi Osaka lifts her second Australian Open title. (Photo / Getty)

'The heir apparent': Tennis correspondent Graeme Agars on Naomi Osaka's decision

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Tue, 1 Jun 2021, 8:43PM

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Tennis Open in response to the controversy of her refusing to front at media conferences.

She has issued the news via social media and says her message could have been delivered in a clearer fashion.

The 23-year-old says she has suffered bouts of depression since winning her maiden grand slam at the US Open in 2018.

Long-running tennis correspondent Graeme Agars told D'Arcy Waldegrave that this is a disappointment for the French Open not to have her take part. 

He says that she is the "heir apparent" to the Williams sisters, and has stood out on and off the court - including at press conferences. However, he is un-surprised this has happened. 

"My feeling going back to 2018 was eventually, some of the press who are more aggressive than others, are going to destroy this girl. They are going to put too much pressure on her, they are going to misquote things she says, and she's not going to be able to respond to it."

Agars says that Osaka is a drawcard, and would have helped carry tennis onwards to the next generation. 

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