French Open 2021: Petra Kvitova withdraws after injuring ankle during ‘post-match press requirements’

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Petra Kvitova, the No. 12 player in the world, announced Tuesday that she was withdrawing from the French Open following an ankle injury she says she suffered during her “post-match press requirements.” The presser happened shortly after she defeated Greet Minnen in the first round.

The severity of the injury has not been made public, but it was enough that the No. 11-seed and her team decided that the best course of action would be to step away from Roland Garros so that she could compete on grass. Wimbledon, the world’s most famous grass competition, begins on June 28.

Kvitova saved a match point before defeating Minnen on Sunday 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1. She was scheduled to take on Elena Vesnina in the second round, but the Russian will get a walkover into the third round.

This year’s French Open has seen a focus towards post-match press conferences. Naomi Osaka first announced that she would forego speaking to the media in favor of her mental health (which she was fined for) before withdrawing from Roland Garros so as not to be a distraction to other competitors.

Tournament officials likely would have hoped that Osaka’s withdrawal would be the end of any controversy surrounding press conferences in Paris. But with Kvitova intentionally mentioning that this campaign-ending injury happened during that moment, such a scenario was clearly not meant to be.