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)