This horrible Coco Gauff question is one of the reasons Osaka boycotted the press

Francis Akhalbey June 01, 2021
After a reporter said Coco Gauff is probably compared to the Williams sisters because she's Black, people took to social media to express their displeasure over the question and point it as one of the reasons Naomi Osaka decided to boycott the press -- Left Photo Credit: si.robi | Right Photo Credit: si.robi

Tennis fans and a section of people have taken to social media to register their displeasure over a question a reporter asked teenage star Coco Gauff. They also pointed it as one of the reasons Naomi Osaka decided not to talk to the press at the French Open in the first place.

Osaka’s decision not to talk to the press was hugely debated, with a section of people saying she had to fulfill her obligations as she was under contract. Osaka’s supporters, however, pointed to Gauff’s recent interview and said it was a clear manifestation of the concerns she had raised.

During her interview with the press leading up to her first French Open game against Aleksandra Krunic on Tuesday, a reporter asked 17-year-old Gauff about the Serena and Venus Williams comparisons. Gauff will be teaming up with Venus for the doubles competition.

“You are often compared to the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because you’re black. But I guess it’s because you’re talented and maybe American too,” the reporter said, according to Yahoo! Sports.

“We could have a final between you and Serena. Is it something you hope for? I mean, 22 years separate you girls.”

Though some people labeled the question as bizarre, Gauff gave the reporter a commendable answer. “Playing Serena in the final would be great (smiling). That’s the dream that I have always dreamed about, playing her in a final,” the teen said.

“But yeah, I mean, people compare me to them a lot, and I think it’s a compliment, but for me I just focus on being myself because I’m never going to be Serena Williams and Serena will never be me because we are two different people,” she added.

“We have two different brains. I understand why people compare us, but I think it’s just important that I want to be known as Coco. I don’t want to be known as Serena Williams’ heir, or Serena Williams’ next thing. I just want to be known as Coco Gauff.”

Following the Gauff interview, people called out the reporter and condemned the question, adding that it served as a form of vindication for Osaka.

Prior to the commencement of the competition, Osaka announced she was going to boycott talking to the press because of mental health reasons. And the 23-year-old stayed true to her words after boycotting press responsibilities following her first-round victory over Patricia Maria Tig on Sunday. The Haitian-Japanese was subsequently handed a $15,000 fine. She was also warned of disqualification from the tournament and also the possibility of being barred from playing in other competitions if she did not backtrack from her decision.

She, however, withdrew from the competition on Monday. In a statement to announce her decision, Osaka revealed she had “bouts of depression” and also explained attending press conferences would take a toll on her mental health.

Take a look at some of the reactions to the Gauff interview below:

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 9, 2021


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