Tennis star Naomi Osaka was eliminated from the Tokyo Olympics after losing a third-round match 6-1, 6-4, to the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova, who is ranked 42nd.
Osaka is returning to the court after withdrawing from the French Open to focus on her mental health. She entered the Tokyo Olympics feeling “refreshed and happy.” Eventually, the stress caught up to her.
Osaka described the immense amount of pressure she felt at this year’s Olympics. She represented Japan, her birth country, and lit the Olympic torch. Her first match was even postponed for a day so that she could have time to rest after her role in the opening ceremony.
As the second-best women’s tennis player in the world, and highest paid female athlete, Osaka did not expect to be eliminated so abruptly. She explained, “I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others,” reasoning, “I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in the Olympics before and for the first year [it] was a bit much.” Vondrousova herself acknowledged Osaka’s situation, saying, “It’s so much pressure, I cannot imagine.”
Both top-ranked players are now eliminated from the games after Australia’s Ash Barty was eliminated in the tournament opener.