Venus Williams of the US returns the ball to Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova during their women's singles first round tennis match on Day 3 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Tuesday. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP
Venus Williams of the US returns the ball to Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova during their women's singles first round tennis match on Day 3 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Tuesday. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

'You'll never play as well as me': Venus Williams weighs in on media row

By AFP Time of article published Jun 1, 2021

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PARIS – American star Venus Williams said Tuesday she has never suffered at press conferences, telling French Open reporters: "I know every person asking me a question cannot play as well as me".

Williams was responding to Naomi Osaka's belief that post-match media inquests were harmful to her mental health and equated them to "kicking a person when they're down".

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Osaka withdrew from Roland Garros on Monday.

But the 40-year-old Williams said she had her own defence mechanism, developed over a career which has yielded seven majors.

"For me personally how I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can't play as well as I can and never will," she said.

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"So no matter what you say or what you write, you'll never light a candle to me. So that's how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently."

Williams, playing the French Open for the 24th time and a runner-up 19 years ago, saw her 89th Grand Slam end at the first hurdle Tuesday as Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova eased to a 6-3, 6-1 win.

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