Naomi Osaka shut down a journalist for asking her about the Novak Djokovic saga at the Australian Open

·2-min read
Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic.
Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka.AP Photo/Manu Fernandez; AP Photo/Simon Baker
  • Naomi Osaka was not interested in using her press conference to discuss Novak Djokovic.

  • She shut down a journalist who asked if the unvaccinated star should be in the Australian Open.

  • "Is my opinion going to help anything?" Osaka replied. "I'll pass on that. Thanks, though."

The whole world watched as Novak Djokovic, the best men's tennis player, sparred with Australia's legal system in a bid to bend the rules and compete at the Australian Open without a COVID-19 vaccine.

While the Serbian superstar was deported before the tournament began, the question of whether he should have been allowed to play for his 21st Grand Slam title lingered around Rod Laver Arena.

But as far as Naomi Osaka is concerned, it's not a topic worth addressing — at least not with the press.

Naomi Osaka.
Osaka at the 2022 Australian Open.REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

During her post-match press conference Sunday, the reigning Australian Open champion shut down a journalist's question about whether the unvaccinated Djokovic should be playing at this year's tournament.

"Is my opinion going to help anything?" Osaka asked in response, then added: "I'll pass on that. Thanks, though."

Osaka appeared respectful but firm and confident in her reply, which marked a shift in her historically fraught relationship with the media. She's been open about her nerves when addressing the media, and last year, the anxiety prompted her media blackout at the French Open.

naomi osaka.JPG
Osaka.REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli

While the Roland Garros situation resulted in a months-long tennis hiatus for the Japanese hard hitter, she now seems better equipped to handle adversity — in the press and on the court — than ever before.

Check out the clip of Osaka's exchange below:

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