No. 2 Naomi Osaka Tops Patricia Maria Tig in 1st Round of 2021 French Open

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

AP Photo/Christophe Ena

Naomi Osaka wasn't as sharp as she'd have liked, but she is still moving on to the second round at the 2021 French Open.

Osaka overcame three double faults and 35 unforced errors to earn a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win over Patricia Maria Tig in her opening match at Roland Garros.

"My movement on clay is a work in progress. If I keep playing more matches, hopefully it will get better," Osaka said in an on-court interview.

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Naomi Osaka has won 15 matches in a row at Grand Slams dating back to the 2020 US Open. pic.twitter.com/hjTRBHIeKv

Osaka's participation in the interview after the match was noteworthy because much of the build to her French Open debut this year focused on her plan to skip media requirements at the tournament. The 23-year-old cited her mental health as a reason she planned to avoid meeting with the media.

"I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes' mental health, and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one," Osaka wrote. "We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds, and I'm just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me."

The WTA said it was open to working with Osaka regarding her stance on media coverage, so perhaps her participation in the on-court interview was part of a compromise. She has not participated in any meetings with reporters as of publication.

As for her performance, Osaka struggled to find her feel on her first serve throughout the match and also had issues closing out Tig when she was given chances. Osaka converted just two of her 10 break-point chances, with Tig playing equally sloppy tennis throughout.

Romania's Ana Bogdan awaits Osaka in Round 2. Osaka will be looking for her first trip past the third round at Roland Garros this week.


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