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"You're 23, you're healthy, wealthy, your family is good. Where is the pressure?" - Boris Becker hits out at Naomi Osaka over media stance

Naomi Osaka at the Madrid Masters
Naomi Osaka at the Madrid Masters
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Boris Becker recently took aim at Naomi Osaka's stance against media obligations at tennis tournaments. According to Becker, top tennis players don't face as many hardships as the less privileged sections of society, so the question of pressure shouldn't arise.

Naomi Osaka caused a furor in the tennis community during Roland Garros when she announced she would skip all her press conferences in Paris. The four-time Slam champion was handed a fine by Roland Garros and warned of further consequences, which prompted her to withdraw from the event altogether.

In a statement announcing her withdrawal, Osaka made it clear that media interactions had taken a toll on her mental health. The 23-year-old revealed she had been suffering from depression since 2018 and claimed she would get bouts of social anxiety when interacting with the media as she is not a natural English speaker.

Boris Becker, who has previously expressed concerns over Naomi Osaka's media stance, lashed out at the Japanese while speaking with The Times on Sunday. Becker claimed that Osaka was a privileged individual who enjoyed comforts that not many in society have access to.

"Is that really pressure? Isn’t it pressure when you don’t have food on the table? When you've got to feed your family and you don’t have a job? When you have a life-changing injury? Isn’t that more pressure?" Boris Becker said. "You’re 23, you’re healthy, you’re wealthy, your family is good. Where is the f****** pressure?"

Media interactions are part of the job, Naomi Osaka has to learn to deal with it: Boris Becker

Boris Becker has taken aim at Naomi Osaka
Boris Becker has taken aim at Naomi Osaka

According to Boris Becker, media interactions are part and parcel of the sport. The German believes it would be difficult to be a professional player without dealing with the media spotlight.

"If you can't deal with the media, it’s very difficult to be a professional tennis player," Becker said. "The tour isn’t possible without the press. And it’s difficult to make your prize money, or money for your sponsors without the media."

The 53-year-old admitted that not everyone looks forward to media interactions, but pointed out that players like Osaka must get accustomed to it.

"It’s not something we look forward to," he added. "But it’s part of the job. You have to learn to deal with it."

Although some, like Boris Becker, have criticized Naomi Osaka for her media stance, many have come out in support of the Japanese too. Those include Novak Djokovic, Sloane Stephens, Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton.

Osaka followed up her withdrawal from Roland Garros by pulling out of Wimbledon. However, the Japanese has confirmed that she plans to represent her nation at the Tokyo Olympics later this year.


Edited by Arvind Sriram
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