Naomi Osaka, one of the strongest contenders for the Tokyo Olympics gold crashed early in the third round. The Japanese sensation was looking in good form and had won her previous 2 encounters quite easily. Naomi, who lit the Olympic cauldron came into the tournament with high expectations after a pretty rough year.
In the 1st round, she faced China’s, Saisai Zheng. She pretty comfortably overcame that obstacle winning it by 6-1, 6-4. Though in the second round she struggled a bit with her pace. In the 2nd round, she faced Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic. The world no 2 cruised past her way into the 3rd round winning by 6-3, 6-2.
But it was then in the third round when the inevitable happened. She lost the match 6-1, 6-4 at the hands of Marketa Vondrousova. The Czech star quite clearly dominated the match throughout. The match took merely an hour to declare her Czech counterpart victorious over her.
Pressure on, or pressure off? ????
— ITF (@ITFTennis) July 27, 2021
What went wrong for Naomi Osaka?
When it was asked Naomi Osaka about what could possibly have been wrong, she replied “Everything, if you watch the match then you would probably see. I feel like there’s a lot of things that I counted on that I couldn’t rely on today.”
“How disappointed am I? I mean, I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this loss here sucks more than the others” claimed the 4-time grand slam winner. “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”
The 23-year-old lacked consistency, and even when she had a chance to make a comeback, she had no response to Marketa’s drop shots. Osaka dropped the opening serve and was broken twice more as the Czech star quite comfortably made it past the first set.
Naomi saved two match points at 4-5 but the Czech star converted it at the third time. With this she made the almost impossible task look easy.
After the mixed zone cleared and the word was that she had left, Naomi Osaka returned to answer a couple of Qs in her own time. She agreed that this was a heavy week that had not helped and she’s glad she didn’t lose in R2. She doesn’t know when she will play next. pic.twitter.com/ScEF1TJLZN
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) July 27, 2021
“I’ve taken long breaks before and I’ve managed to do well. I’m not saying I did bad right now, but I do know that expectations of me were a lot higher” said the Japanese. “I feel like my attitude wasn’t that great because I don’t really know how to cope up with pressure in that situation so that’s the best I could’ve done.“
After Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka, Naomi’s crash has left the tournament wide open for everyone. It will now be interesting to see which star lays her hand on the gold medal.
With the finals set to happen in just a few days, the competition is getting tougher. The player who can deal with such pressure will eventually emerge out on top.
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 25, 2021