Naomi Osaka Withdraws from the French Open
(May 31, 2021) World No. 2 Naomi Osaka announced her withdrawal from the French Open via social media on Monday. Prior to Roland Garros, the Japanese player announced that she would not be doing news conferences during the tournament. She was given a $15,000 dollar fine for failing to do a media conference after her first round win on Sunday. The four majors issued a statement which threatened her with more fines as well as a possible default for not obeying the rules. Statement from Grand Slam tournaments regarding Naomi Osaka Players are required to do media conferences after matches if requested.
“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” Osaka said via Twitter.
— Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN) May 31, 2021
Here is her full statement from Twitter:
With her withdrawal, Ana Bogdan of Romania will advance to the third round in Paris.
The French Open issued a statement:
“First and foremost, we are sorry and sad for Naomi Osaka. The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland-Garros is unfortunate. We wish her the best and the quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year.
“As all the Grand Slams, the WTA, the ATP and the ITF, we remain very committed to all athletes’ well-being and to continually improving every aspect of players’ experience in our Tournament, including with the Media, like we have always strived to do.”
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) May 31, 2021
In actual action on the court of the French Open on Monday saw former champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams win their opening matches, while former major champions  Garbine Muguruza,  Bianca Andreescu, and Jelena Ostapenko lost.
Federer, who won the title in 2009, was playing his first match at a major tournament since the semifinals of the 2020 Australian Open. He had been sidelined due to multiple knee surgeries. The Swiss defeated Denis Istomin 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 to reach the second round.
The soon-to-be 40-year-old is tied for the most majors won at 20 with Rafael Nadal.
Federer says that he’s unsure if he’ll be competing at the Olympics. “My hope and dream is that I can play it,” he told media. “But it needs to make sense for me, my team, my family, my country. I’m still waiting to see how things are going to develop the next couple of weeks and month.”
In his fifth attempt, No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev finally won a match at Roland Garros. The Russian defeated Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-3, 7-5.
In the first official scheduled night session ever to be held at Roland Garros, three-time champion Serena Williams, the 7th seed saved set points in the first set, but overcame Irina Begu of Romania 7-6(6), 6-2 in her first round match. Williams led 5-2 in he first set before Begu made her move.
“Ironically enough night sessions are not my favorite matches, but I do have a good record at it,” Williams said after the match.
“Clearly something about it gets me hyped. I have to say it was pretty cool to be able to play the first night session ever here at Roland Garros. That was something I thoroughly enjoyed.”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 31, 2021
Defending champion, Iga Swiatek celebrated her 20th birthday with a 6-0, 7-5 win over friend Kaja Juvan.
Canadian Bianca Andreescu, the 2019 U.S. Open champion was bounced out of the French Open in the first round. The sixth seed fell to No. 85 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-7 (1), 7-6 (2), 9-7.
2016 Roland Garros winner Garbine Muguruza, playing with a back injury, lost in the opening round, as well as 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko who fell to fourth seed Sofia Kenin.
Two seeds lost on the men’s side of the draw – 13th seed David Goffin and 26th seed Lorenzo Sonego.