Injury concerns cloud former No.1
Osaka arrived in Paris for her sixth Roland-Garros campaign with an Achilles complaint and for the first set, in damp heavier conditions on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, moved unimpeded.
The Japanese 24-year-old had cited a niggle that first began in Madrid before her second-round exit to Sara Sorribes Tormo and consequently skipped the rematch in Rome as a precaution.
She said it was not enough to deny her place in the starting line-up for a major and if anything allowed her a nothing-to-lose mentality, having charged through the field to claim the 2019 Australian Open with a back ailment.
In the seventh game of the second set, however, she conceded serve and briefly grabbed at the strapping around her ankle at the changeover.
“Honestly I didn't feel my Achilles until the second set, I would say,” Osaka said. “So in the first set I was totally fine. I think the serve issue was just down to playing a really good returner and kind of being a bit shaken by what she could possibly do. So I was trying to maybe go for too much, more than usual.
“I also haven't practised as much as I wanted to. But, yeah, I was really grateful for the crowd, like I could feel a lot of energy. It was really fun to play there, even though I didn't win.”