Naomi Osaka (Image: AP)

The world’s media find themselves behind the baseline, aced by star tennis player Naomi Osaka in her refusal to front the media at the French Open for the sake of her mental health.

“I am not a natural public speaker,” she wrote to her social media audience, “and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can.”

The power of her strike against the traditional questioning demonstrates a truth about journalistic practice: it’s long past time to call time on the performance act that the modern press conference has become.