Wimbledon organizers have contacted Naomi Osaka about media arrangements

Wimbledon organizers have reached out to Naomi Osaka and other players about the tournament’s media arrangements this year, All England Club general manager Sally Bolton said on Thursday.

Osaka, the No. 2 ranked woman in the world, withdrew from Roland Garros last month after being fined $ 15,000 for refusing to do media interviews. The BBC announced that Osaka was to “play” at Wimbledon from June 28.

“We have started a consultation,” Bolton told BBC Radio 4’s Today program.

“Of course, this consultation must include not only the players, but the media and all those who are engaged in this space.

“We always strive to do things better. “

Bolton confirmed that the tournament has direct contact with the Osaka camp.

“We have spoken to her team over the past few weeks,” she said. “So yes, we certainly remain engaged with Naomi’s team, as we are with all the players.”

When she retired from Roland Garros, Osaka, four-time Grand Slam champion, announced that she “would take time away from the court now”. She then withdrew from the Wimbledon tune-up in Berlin which was taking place this week.

Following its announcement, Osaka received the support of many athletes and artists, including Steph Curry, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova.

Tournament director Jamie Baker has said Wimbledon wants to keep the lines of communication open with Osaka.

“It is absolutely clear that we are here, we are completely open to any discussion when they want to have this,” he said.

“I hope it goes without saying that we want the best players to compete here no matter what.”

CAPACITY CROWD FOR THE FINALS

Wimbledon will allow 50% fan capacity to start the tournament, but will have a 100% capacity of 15,000 for the men’s and women’s finals on the weekend of July 10.

Reception capacity will increase throughout the event. Fans will still need to wear masks when moving on the pitch, but not while seated.

“We are very confident that we will be able to provide a very safe environment in which to increase our spectator base,” said Bolton.

“It is also important for us to participate in understanding how we can breathe new life into our industry, and we are delighted to be a part of this program.

“It’s fantastic that we are in a situation where not only can we host the best players in the world on our grass courts, but we can also host a good number of fans in our stadiums to create this really special shared experience of the championships . “

The US Open also announced on Monday that it will welcome fans again to its event starting August 30 after having no fans in 2020 due to the pandemic. Tickets go on sale July 15.

“We are extremely happy to be able to welcome our incredible fans to the US Open this year,” said Mike Dowse, CEO of USTA. “While we are proud to have been able to host the event in 2020, we missed having our fans on hand because we know they are a big part of what makes the US Open experience One of a kind. Indeed, the challenges presented by the pandemic were difficult for all of us, but our sport came together like never before and met every challenge head-on. Interest in tennis accelerated, with four million new players and returning to the pitch last year. Our sport has grown through its toughest times, and this year’s US Open promises to be an unforgettable celebration of the game, of those who play it and those who revel in it.

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