© Reuters. Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 30, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka reacts during her first round match against Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
(Reuters) – Highlights of the first day at the French Open, the second Grand Slam of the year, on Sunday (times GMT):
Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 by Grand Slam organisers for boycotting a news conference following her first-round win and the world number two was also warned of possible expulsion from Roland Garros and future majors if she fails to meet her media commitments.
Osaka started her French Open campaign with a 6-4 7-6(4) win over Romanian Patricia Maria Tig but her refusal to honour her media commitments at the claycourt major has caused a stand-off with organisers.
Before the start of the slam, Osaka announced she would not attend any news conferences while in Paris to raise awareness of players’ mental well-being, saying the nature of questions from journalists is like “kicking a person when they are down”.
Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem, a French Open finalist in 2018 and 2019, has struggled for form in recent months and he succumbed to a five-set defeat by Spain’s Pablo Andujar.
German Alexander Zverev, who was beaten by Thiem in last year’s U.S. Open final, survived a five-set scare against compatriot Oscar Otte while former world number one Angelique Kerber suffered yet another first-round defeat.
2100 TSITSIPAS OVERCOMES SLOW START TO REACH ROUND TWO
Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas recovered from a stuttering start to beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 7-6(6) 6-3 6-1 to advance into the second round.
Tsitsipas, who won the title in Lyon last week, will next face either American Sebastian Korda or Spain’s Pedro Martinez.
1905 ZVEREV THROUGH AFTER FIVE SETTER WITH FELLOW GERMAN OTTE
German Alexander Zverev recovered from a miserable start to reach the second round with a 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 6-0 win against compatriot Oscar Otte.
Zverev has now won all seven of his five-set contests at Roland Garros and will next meet another qualifier, Russian Roman Safiullin.
1825 AZARENKA SURVIVES KUZNETSOVA CHALLENGE TO ADVANCE
Belarusian 15th seed Victoria Azarenka beat former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 2-6 6-3 to move into the second round.
Azarenka had nine double faults and hit seven fewer winners than Kuznetsova but the Russian was let down by 41 unforced errors in a match where both players converted seven break points.
1655 NISHIKORI THROUGH IN FIVE SETS
Kei Nishikori was given a stern test in the opening round by Italian Alessandro Giannessi but prevailed 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 4-6 6-4 to advance.
Nishikori, a former world number four, fired 56 winners and converted 10 break points in a match that clocked just over four hours.
1610 DIMITROV RETIRES WITH INJURY
Bulgarian 16th seed Grigor Dimitrov was leading 6-2 6-4 5-7 0-3 against American Marcos Giron before he was forced to retire with an injury.
Dimitrov was 5-1 up in the third set and had three match points before losing nine games in a row.
1600 ANDUJAR STUNS THIEM IN FIVE SETS
Unseeded Spaniard Pablo Andujar upset fourth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria 4-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4 to reach the second round. Thiem made 61 unforced errors and seven double faults as he ran out of steam after claiming the opening two sets.
1545 SABALENKA DOWNS KONJUH IN STRAIGHT SETS
Third seed Aryna Sabalenka beat Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-4 6-3 to advance. Sabalenka made 31 unforced errors but ultimately proved too powerful, hitting 24 winners compared to Konjuh’s 12.
1530 SIMON MAKES EARLY EXIT AT HOME SLAM
Frenchman Gilles Simon was beaten 6-4 6-1 7-6(5) by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in the first round. Fucsovics will next face Italy’s 27th seed Fabio Fognini, who eased past Gregoire Barrere 6-4 6-1 6-4.
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1418 EVANS KNOCKED OUT IN FIRST ROUND AGAIN
Briton Dan Evans dominated the opening set before falling 1-6 6-3 6-3 6-4 to Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in a match that lasted more than three hours.
Evans has now lost in the first round at Roland Garros for three straight years.
1405 KVITOVA OVERCOMES MINNEN SCARE, BAUTISTA AGUT THROUGH
Two-times Grand Slam champion and 11th seed Petra Kvitova fought back from a set down to move past Greet Minnen with a 6-7(3) 7-6(5) 6-1 victory.
In the men’s draw, 11th seed Roberto Bautista Agut beat qualifier Mario Vilella Martinez 6-4 6-4 6-2.
1200 CARRENO BUSTA ADVANCES
Spain’s 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta progressed to the second round with a 6-3 6-4 6-3 win over Slovakia’s Norbert Gombos.
1059 OSAKA GETS PAST TIG IN OPENER, KERBER FALLS
World number two Naomi Osaka beat Romania’s Patricia Maria Tig 6-4 7-6(4) in their second career meeting and first since 2015 to move into the second round of the French Open where she will meet another Romanian in Ana Bogdan.
Three-times Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, however, the 26th seed, was stunned by Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina 6-2 6-4 on Court 14.
0911 PLAY UNDER WAY
Play began under clear skies at Roland Garros, with the temperature hovering around 18 degrees Celsius.
The claycourt major will initially welcome up to 1,000 fans at each of the three main showcourts, while the smaller courts will be able to admit 35% of their capacity during the first 10 days due to COVID-19 restrictions in France.