World No.1 Ashleigh Barty fell at the first hurdle at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, while the star of the tournament Naomi Osaka made a victorious return to tennis.
Just two weeks after winning Wimbledon, Barty got stunned by Spanish world No.48 Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4 6-3. Fifty-five unforced errors contributed to the Australian’s shocking loss, while her opponent committed 13. This is the biggest ever victory for Sorribes Tormo, who has never been past the second round of a Grand Slam.
Barty is still not completely out of the Tokyo Olympics, as she’s still in the women’s doubles draw. She and Storm Sanders advanced to the second round where they will face Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan of China.
World No.2 Osaka, who had the honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron in Friday’s opening ceremony, is now the highest-ranked player left in the singles draw. The Japanese cruised past Zheng Saisai 6-1 6-4 and set up a second-round meeting with Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic.
The encounter with Zheng was important not only because it was Osaka’s first Olympic appearance, and in her home country, but also because it was her first match after an eight-week break during which she fought depression and worked on her mental health.
Even though Osaka described her Olympic debut as a nerve-wracking experience, good news is that she has recharged her batteries during the time off:
I feel definitely a little bit refreshed and happy again.