Australia’s Ashleigh Barty in action during her first round French Open match against Croatia’s Bernarda Pera on Monday. PARIS: Rafael Nadal began his bid for a record-setting 21st Grand Slam title with a straight sets win at the French Open on Tuesday as the fallout from Naomi Osaka’s revelations over depression and anxiety sent shockwaves through Roland Garros. Nadal, the 13-time champion in Paris, defeated 63rd-ranked Alexei Popyrin of Australia 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) to take his record at the tournament to 101 wins against just two losses. Up next is fellow 34-year-old Richard Gasquet. The pair first played one another when they were children. As professionals, Nadal leads 16-0. The Spaniard’s opening win shifted the emphasis onto world number one, and potential semi-final opponent, Novak Djokovic who is chasing a second French Open title and 19th Grand Slam. Djokovic was taking on 66th-ranked Tennys Sandgren of the United States in an evening session match-up. World number one Ashleigh Barty marked her return to Paris for the first time since her 2019 title triumph by beating American left-hander Bernarda Pera 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 but admitted she was fighting a hip problem. Barty, 25, skipped the defence of her title in 2020 due to the pandemic but this year has won trophies at the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami and on clay in Stuttgart in the run-up to Roland Garros. After easing through the first set on Court Philippe Chatrier, Barty went off the boil in the second and called for the trainer at the changeover. Meanwhile, the fallout from Osaka’s withdrawal continued to be felt. The 23-year-old world number two, and four-time major winner, pulled out on Monday after she was fined $15,000 and threatened with disqualification for refusing to attend press conferences. Osaka claims traditional post-match media conferences are akin to “kicking people when they’re down” and were having a detrimental effect on her mental health. She revealed she had been suffering bouts of depression since her 2018 US Open title breakthrough as well as anxiety attacks. Kvitova suffers ‘press’ injury: Ironically, another Roland Garros press conference led Tuesday to the injury-enforced withdrawal of two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. The Czech 11th seed, a Roland Garros semi-finalist in 2012 and 2020, had saved a match point in her first-round win over Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen on Sunday. Fifth seed Elina Svitolina, a three-time quarter-finalist, recovered from a 2-5 second set deficit to beat French teenager Oceane Babel 6-2, 7-5. Italian 37-year-old Andreas Seppi, playing in his 63rd successive Grand Slam, stunned 20th seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 7-6 (10/8), 4-6, 6-4. For Seppi, it was a first win at any level this year. Venus Williams, playing the tournament for the 24th time and a runner-up 19 years ago, saw her 89th Grand Slam end at the first hurdle as Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova eased to a 6-3, 6-1 win over the 40-year-old American.