Naomi Osaka ahead of Roland Garros 2022

Roland Garros has learned to be ‘more friendly’ after Naomi Osaka press debacle asserts tournament director

Debut Roland Garros tournament director Amelie Mauresmo has said that the spectacle surrounding Naomi Osaka at last year’s event has prompted changes to how the Slam will approach media in 2022. 

The former world number one took over from Guy Forget when his contract expired at the end of 2021.

Mauresmo agrees that players today are under more scrutiny than in her day, something Roland Garros is aware of after having difficulties handling Osaka’s press conference absences at the 2021 event that culminated in her withdrawal from the Major.

The 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion told Eurosport: “It’s something that I personally felt when I was playing. 

“It was not as bad as now, especially because there was no social media, or much less at the time.

“So I think that today, this issue is even more present.”

Mauresmo  then referred specifically to the Osaka incident and how the Paris Slam will work with players to make their media experience smoother.

She said: “First of all, we will now have a mixed zone for the players who do not raise big attendance in the press room.

“To make something more dynamic, more friendly for the players and a bit faster.

“As soon as it’s finished, it doesn’t drag on.”

Mauresmo added that moderators will be in the press room to move questions along if they feel press queries become too similar and a player has already answered a question.

She explained: “It’s not to censor the press, but it’s just to show a little common sense at certain moments to be able to move on.

“The post match for players will be made more fluid.”

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