Japan’s Naomi Osaka, the biggest star of the Tokyo Olympics, lost to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1 6-4 in the third round.
Playing her first tournament after a two-month mental health break, Osaka cruised in her first two matches, against Zheng Saisai and Viktorija Golubic, and seemed to handle the pressure of an Olympic debut in her home country. However, in the third round, 32 unforced errors crept into the second seed’s game as the world No.42 Vondrousova drew her out of her comfort zone with a range of crafty shots. Osaka left in tears, but happy that she didn’t lose earlier.
Vondrousova’s quarterfinal opponent will be Spain’s Paula Badosa, who defeated Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska 6-2 6-3 later on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Osaka’s exit follows that of Australian top seed Ashleigh Barty in the first round. With third seed Aryna Sabalenka also out, Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina is the highest-ranked player in women’s singles draw. (photo: Jimmie48)
I believe Marketa’s leftiness puzzled Naomi. Osaka has really let the cat out of the bag with these mental issues for other athletes. Some big Rugby players are coming out that they too have suffered anxieties. PGA golfer Bubba Watson sympathizes with Naomi, saying he too suffered from anxiety issues as have a couple of baseball players and basketball players (male BTW) An now Simone Biles couldn’t compete for the team gymnastics for the USA because of “medical conditions” (which she later said was mental stress) and it probably cost the USA the gold. But nope, must not criticize. On another note, how come Hsieh Su-wei is not in singles or doubles in the Olympics? She is #1 in doubles and could have teamed up with one of the Chan sisters, and in singles she is higher ranked than Cepede Royg, Leylah Fernandez, Zarina Diyas, Sara Errani, etc. etc. On her facebook site she jokingly stated maybe she should have signed up for mixed with highest ranked Taiwanese man. Novak is playing mixed with Stojanovic. Hsieh could have played with Randy Lu. BTW go Novak..win the golden slam!!!!!