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Angoose
24 Jul 21 09:11
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Report Angoose July 27, 2021 11:04 AM BST
She's out Cry

Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka suffered a surprise exit in her home Olympics as Czech Marketa Vondrousova earned a straight-set win in Tokyo.

Osaka, 23, has been one of the faces of the Games in the Japanese capital and had the honour of lighting the Olympic cauldron in last week's opening ceremony.

But the four-time Grand Slam champion could not back that up by winning a medal, losing 6-1 6-4 to the world number 42 in the third round.

"I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this," said the world number two.

"I think it's maybe because I haven't played in the Olympics before and for the first year it was a bit much."

Osaka, who is the reigning US Open and Australian Open champion, had won 25 of her previous 26 matches on a hard court.

It was Osaka's first tournament after withdrawing from the French Open in June, when she revealed she had "suffered long bouts of depression" since winning her first Grand Slam title in 2018.

"I think I'm glad with how I played, with taking that break that I had," she said.

"I've taken long breaks before and I've managed to do well.

"I'm not saying that I did bad right now, but I do know that my expectations were a lot higher.

"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."

Following impressive wins in the first two rounds, Osaka looked to be shaping up nicely for a gold-medal bid but produced 32 unforced errors in a rusty performance against former French Open finalist Vondrousova.

The 22-year-old Czech hit 18 winners against 10 unforced errors as she converted five of her 11 break points in the match.

Osaka's exit follows that of Australian top seed Ashleigh Barty in the first round, leaving the women's singles draw wide open.

Vondrousova will play either Spain's Paula Badosa or Argentina's Nadia Podoroska in the last eight.

Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina is the highest-ranked player left in the event but she had to fight back to beat Greece's Maria Sakkari 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Switzerland's Belinda Bencic beat French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 1-6 6-2 6-3 while Garbine Muguruza beat Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 6-1.
Report n88uk July 27, 2021 3:45 PM BST
Curious where she said she doesn't know where she will play next.
Report Angoose July 27, 2021 4:57 PM BST
Aye, and worrying that she's continuing to openly discuss attitude and pressure issues.
Report Wesdag July 27, 2021 5:35 PM BST
She needs somebody needs to give herself some perspective on life.

Pressure is having mouths to feed & being skint.

With all the money she's made, surely now she can just play for her own enjoyment?

Where is this "pressure" coming from?
Report Wesdag July 27, 2021 5:43 PM BST
*She needs somebody to give her some perspective on life.
Report SamuelMertensBertens July 27, 2021 6:30 PM BST
Dealing with expectation from within and others has always been a part of sport. Now there will be a big muggy debate because of Naomi losing after her recent months and what happened to Simone Biles today. As far as Naomi goes, this is also her 4th match since April. A bit silly to blame it all on pressure, maybe if she had actually spent more time on court she would have done better today. I know she's done the limited schedule in the past and it has worked out for her, but I've always found it a risky strategy to take months off and then expect to fire on all cylinders from the get-go.
Report Wesdag July 27, 2021 6:54 PM BST
Yeah, "mental health" is such an industry now.

World's gone soft.
Report Giuseppe July 29, 2021 9:40 PM BST
probably only played this because it was the olympics and she was part of the marketing etc.

doubt she played because she felt ready

hardly the first female tennis player to struggle mentally

i've seen ana ivanovic unable to toss the ball, and serve underarm
Report Giuseppe July 29, 2021 9:41 PM BST
remember Dinara Safina

best player in the world and turned to jelly in grand slam finals
Report Platini August 2, 2021 2:24 PM BST
"mental health" the new get-out-of-jail-free card for these pampered millionaires.
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