Photo by Rob Keating via Wikimedia Commons
Naomi Osaka’s Tokyo Olympics journey has ended with a third-round loss to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, ESPN reports.
Osaka, who was seeded second in the tournament, lost in straight sets: 6-1, 6-4. She admitted she’s been struggling with the pressure placed on her.
“I should be used to it by now, but the scale of everything is a bit hard because of the break that I took,” she said, according to The New York Times.
The tennis star represented Japan throughout the games, even lighting the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony. Osaka said lighting the torch was “undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life,” ESPN reports. It made her third round loss hurt just a little bit more.
“I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others,” Osaka said, according to ESPN.
Her opponent, Vondrousova acknowledged the pressure Osaka was under.
“It’s tough for her also playing in Japan and in the Olympics,” the 42nd-ranked Vondrousova said, according to ESPN. “It’s so much pressure, I cannot imagine.”
Vodrousova also said she believes that Osaka is now “the greatest.”
“I also [beat] Simona [Halep] twice, but I think now she [Osaka] is the greatest,” Vondrousova said, according to ESPN. “The greatest in the game, and she was also the face of the Olympics, so it was tough for her, I think, to play like this.”
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