Naomi Osaka Loses in Third Round of Tokyo Olympics Tennis Tournament

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka lost to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova.

The Czech Republic’s Vondrousova defeated the Japanese second seed 6-1, 6-4 in 68 minutes in the third round of the tennis competition. Vondrousova is the first player through to the women’s singles quarter-finals and awaits the winner of the game between Spain’s Paula Badosa and Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska.

Just last week, Osaka lighted the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony.

Osaka said she was disappointed at her loos.

As a four-time Grand Slam champion, the highest-paid female athlete in the world and the host country’s poster girl for the Games, the huge expectations were hard to handle.

“I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this,” Osaka said. “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 second-ranked Osaka, who was born in Japan and grew up in the United States, struggled with her usually reliable groundstrokes while the left-handed Vondrousova produced a series of drop-shot winners and other crafty shots that drew her opponent out of her comfort zone.

“It’s tough for her also playing in Japan and in the Olympics,” the 42nd-ranked Vondrousova said. “It’s so much pressure, I cannot imagine.”

Osaka won her opening two matches in straight sets following a two-month mental health break. But conditions were different Tuesday with the roof closed because it was raining outside.