Assessing Osaka’s Sad Departure From the French Open – The New York Times

“PARIS — Naomi Osaka’s withdrawal from the French Open was not the outcome anyone in tennis desired, and yet it happened just the same.

It could likely have been avoided through better communication and smarter decisions, but on Monday night the sport’s most prominent young star felt she had no better option than to pull out of the year’s second Grand Slam tournament.

Her second-round match with Ana Bogdan will be a walkover for Bogdan instead of another chance for the second-ranked Osaka, 23, to make steps forward on red clay, a surface that has long bedeviled her.

“Above all, it’s just really sad: for her, for the tournament, for the sport,” said Martina Navratilova, a former No. 1 who has seen plenty of tennis turmoil in her 50 years in the game. “She tried to sidestep or lessen a problem for herself and instead she just made it much bigger than it was in the first place.” . . .  “

David Lindsay Jr.

David Lindsay Jr.Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:

This is a sad and creepy story. Like many other commenters, I do not care for and sometimes detest and usually turn off most of the forced inteviews after matches, and am often appauled by how rude to the players they occassionally seem to be. I had no idea they were mandatory, and that seems a bit criminal.

This tennis fan has nothing but contempt for the managers of the the French Open responsible for this debacle, for their appauling insensitivity to one of of the games most extraordinary, well mannered and sensitve new talents. Claiming discomfort and depression is not a good enough excuse to skip an after match press conference? What sleezy bullies. Most if not all of us tennis fans do not turn on this sport to watch the awkward after game interviews. We want to watch and enjoy the brilliant and demanding game of tennis.