Round 1 of the French Open 2021 began on Sunday (May 30), and Japan’s Naomi Osaka started the tournament with an easy win. However, the story of the day was Osaka’s fine and the threat of explusion from the Grand Slam for missing the press conference after this match. To make matters worse, the board of Grand Slam tennis tournaments said on Sunday that she could be removed from this and future tennis tournaments if she continues to miss press events.
This wasn’t the only time Osaka’s press boycott was brought up, however. The official French Open account posted and deleted a tweet that seemed to contain a dig against Osaka.
The tweet showed pictures of Rafael Nadal, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff speaking to the media. The caption read: “They understood the assignment.”
The tweet drew widespread criticism although many also agreed with the point being made.
Third-seed Aryna Sabalenka booked her spot in the next round with an easy win over Ana Konjuh. Sabalenka beat Konjuh 6-4, 6-3 without really breaking a sweat.
Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova also secured safe passage into the third round. However, she had to fight back from going a set down. Having lost the first on a tie-break, she won the second – also on a tie-break.
She wrapped things up by winning the deciding set 6-1.
Victoria Azarenka went the distance against Svetlana Kuznetsova but won 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Christina McHale in straight sets, the second of which was a bagel.
Elena Rybakina also progressed to the next round in some ease, as did Veronika Kurdermetova. The biggest shock exit on the day was that of Angelique Kerber.
The German 26th seed lost in straight sets to unseeded Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine.
Round 1 action at Roland Garros continues on Monday (May 31). Defending champ Iga Swiatek is in action, as is Madison Keys.