Tokyo Games 2020

Naomi Osaka loses in the third round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics' tennis tournament

Published : July 27, 2021 15:04 IST

Naomi Osaka at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Photo: Seth Wenig/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has suffered a surprise shock loss in her home Olympics. The 23-year-old is a face of the Games, having lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony.

Naomi Osaka's dream of winning gold in her home country came crashing down after losing to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4. The third-round exit was a massive upset for the world number two, who was born in Japan and grew up in the United States.

An error-ravaged performance sealed the four-time Grand Slam winner's fate, with Osaka saying "everything” went wrong. "How disappointed am I? I mean, I'm disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others," she said.

Osaka had a two-month mental health break leading into the Games, which included missing the French Open after choosing not to attend press conferences. She also skipped Wimbledon after admitting she had been battling depression and anxiety.

"I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this. I think it's maybe because I haven't played in the Olympics before and for the first year (it) was a bit much," she said. "I feel like my attitude wasn't that great because I don't really know how to cope with that pressure so that's the best that I could have done in this situation."

Vondoursova, ranked 42nd in the world, broke Osaka's serve three times to go through to the quarterfinals. Her victory has now blown the women's singles draw wide open, with world number one Ash Barty and third seed Aryna Sabalenka also exiting the tournament early.

jsc/ (APE, Reuters)

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