The grand slams reacted strongly to Osaka's move, releasing a joint statement on Sunday that threatened her with potential disqualification and a ban from future tournaments should she not reconsider. It takes seven victories to win a Grand Slam title, which she has done four times at hard-court tournaments: the U.S. Open in 2018 and 2020; the Australian Open in 2019 and this February.
Osaka's sister Mari attempted to explain more about her sibling's stance with a post on the website Reddit, highlighting her feelings of vulnerability on clay, but then deleted her words and replaced them with an apology, saying she felt she had made things worse.
The Japanese world #2 had taken issue with the fines levied on players for failing to complete their media duties, even when she claimed it had a negative impact on their mental health, was not well-received by the sport's authorities. "The outcome of Naomi withdrawing from Roland Garros is unfortunate".
Osaka's management did not immediately respond to a request for comment but the player published a cryptic message on Twitter.
"There is nothing more important than ensuring no player has an unfair advantage over another, which unfortunately is the case in this situation if one player refuses to dedicate time to participate in media commitments while the others all honour their commitments".
Kostyuk will face Zheng Saisai in the second round. "Change makes people uncomfortable".
There is concern among tennis leaders that Osaka could set a precedent at a time when social media has given stars a broad platform to reach the public directly.
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"My movement on clay is a work in progress. We wish her the best and quickest possible recovery, and we look forward to having Naomi at our Tournament next year".
Osaka's defiant stand overshadowed the opening day of the 2021 French Open which saw two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem crash at the first hurdle.
Before withdrawing, Osaka beat Patricia Maria Tig in two sets, (6-4, 7-6). Like I said, I've been in those positions.
Andujar said his recent win over Roger Federer in Geneva ranked higher.
Petra Kvitova, a semi-finalist a year ago, saved a match point in the second set against Greet Minnen before coming through 6-7 (3) 7-6 (5) 6-1.
However, there was nobody inside the cavernous Chatrier Court to assess his credentials as the match started just before a 9pm Covid-19 curfew came into effect.
A compelling battle of former slam champions was won 6-4 2-6 6-3 by Victoria Azarenka against Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the title in Paris back in 2009.
German 26th seed Angelique Kerber, a three-time major victor, was the day's biggest loser in the women's draw, going down to 6-2, 6-4 Ukrainian qualifier Anhelina Kalinina.