Venus Williams on Reporters: ‘You’ll Never Light a Candle to Me’

Venus’ interview arrives after fellow tennis player Naomi Osaka announced that she dropped out of French Open after being fined $15,000 for refusing to participate in a post-match press conference.

AceShowbizVenus Williams shares her honest take on media press amid scandal surrounding Naomi Osaka. Venus offered a straightforward answer during an interview on Tuesday, June 1 as she was asked about her opinion on dealing with the media.

“For me personally, how I deal with it was that I know that every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will, so no matter what you say, or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me,” the older sister of Serena Williams shared. She went on to note, “That’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.”

Venus’ interview arrives after Naomi announced that she dropped out of French Open after being fined $15,000 for refusing to participate in a post-match press conference following her first-round win on May 30. She revealed that she opted out the press conference to protect her mental health, writing, “Me not doing press is nothing personal to the tournament and a couple of journalists have interviewed me since I was young so I have a friendly relationship with most of them.”

The No. 2 female tennis player in the world added, “However, if the organizations think that they can just keep saying, ‘do press or you’re gonna be fined’, and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh. Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health charity.”

Meanwhile, the Grand Slam offered support for Naomi in a statement which was published on June 1. “On behalf of the Grand Slams, we wish to offer Naomi Osaka our support and assistance in any way possible as she takes time away from the court. She is an exceptional athlete and we look forward to her return as soon as she deems appropriate,” read the statement.

It continued, “Mental health is a very challenging issue, which deserves our utmost attention. It is both complex and personal, as what affects one individual does not necessarily affect another. We commend Naomi for sharing in her own words the pressures and anxieties she is feeling and we empathize with the unique pressures tennis players may face.”

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