The president of the French Tennis Federation has defended the handling of the Naomi Osaka's media boycott and has made the stunning claim that it was dealt with "very well".
The Japanese star shocked the tennis world when she withdrew from the year's second grand slam, revealing she has been suffering from depression since her US Open victory in 2018.
Days before the French Open got underway, Osaka declared she would not be participating in the traditional post-match press conferences, citing mental health reasons.
"I think we did very, very well," Gilles Moretton told the New York Times, when asked to assess the Osaka situation.
The boss of French tennis was sympathetic to the four-time grand champion but stood by the tournament's tough stance on press conferences.
The rising star's decision to opt out of mandatory media duties would have cost her $19,000 (AUD) per round.
"The goal was not to penalise her. It was to say clearly: Here's the rule," Moretton said.
He revealed the federation would not have expelled Osaka from the French Open, but rather continued to impose a harsh financial penalty.
"I think we would have kept giving her fines," he said.
"I don't think we would have gone to a tougher sanction, because we understood the situation. But it's the rule. The rule is there to be fair to all the players."
Osaka has withdrawn from a grass court tournament in Germany and announced she will be taking an indefinite break from tennis. The 23-year-old is in serious doubt to play at Wimbledon in a few weeks' time.
"The problem she raised is a real problem, a real topic for discussion," Moretton said of the implications of Osaka's decision for press requirements at grand slams.
He left the door ajar to a change of policy for players at the French Open, but warned making press conferences optional could lead to a slippery slope of more players opting out of interviews with the media.
"Perhaps we will change the rules, and then everyone only comes to press if they want to," Moretton said.
"You will see that there are not many who will come.
"Everyone will be their own journalist. (Players will) speak when they want to speak, say what they want to say, respond only to questions they want to answer. And I think it's a serious problem."
He added the media plays an important role in providing a voice for players and promoting the sport of tennis.
"So yes of course to measures that will provide help and support to players, but let's keep the freedom of the press to ask a question that might be uncomfortable and that interests the public, who are the ones who provide a living for the athletes and the personalities," Moretton said.
It has been a turbulent couple of weeks for the French Open.
The tournament came under fire for scheduling Roger Federer's third round clash in the night session without any fans in the stands. The Swiss legend may have played for the last time at the Paris grand slam in front of any empty stadium in a match that finished past midnight.