20-year-old Anisimova, a surprise semi-finalist at Roland Garros three years ago, has now defeated Osaka in back-to-back grand slams after her third-round win at the Australian Open in January.
Their final clash at Roland Garros – arguably the women’s first round roster – was a tense first set with five service breaks, including the first three games of the match.
Anisimova seized the advantage when she broke Osaka 5-5 and took the first set within 48 minutes, while breaking the second set 3-3 and holding the serve twice to complete the win.
The American, the number 27 in the world, will face the Croat Donna Vekic in the second round on Wednesday.
“When you see Naomi Osaka in the first lap, you don’t think it’s going to be easy,” Anismiova said in her interview on the track after the game.
“It was a really tough game. I went out and I knew I had to play tennis well…I’m just really happy to be back here and get through the first round.”
Osaka withdrew from last year’s French Open because she refused to speak to the media to protect her mental health.
On Friday, ahead of her first-round match, Osaka spoke to the media and admitted that she was “still thinking” about the events of last year’s tournament.
With the loss to Anisimova, Osaka ends her battle on the clay after playing just three games, losing in the second round of the Madrid Open and having to withdraw from the Italian Open due to an ankle injury.
Elsewhere in the women’s draw, 2020 champion and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek advanced comfortably to the second round with a 6-2 6-0 win against Lesia Tsurenko.
The win extended Swiatek’s undefeated streak to 29 matches – the longest on the WTA Tour since 2013.