Naomi Osaka’s Olympic run has come to an end after the tennis star was defeated by the Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova in the third round of the Olympic tennis tournament on Tuesday (July 27).
via: The Grio
From Osaka’s stunning turns in various tennis competitions, to her choosing her peace and putting her mental health first when withdrawing from the French Open, 2021 has been a landmark year for her.
While she won her first Olympic match on Sunday, the 23-year-old lost a match in the third round on Tuesday to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
Afterward, Osaka reportedly opened up about her headspace following the defeat.
Per The Associated Press, she called the pressure around her “a bit much” after her loss. “I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others.”
“I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this,” continued Osaka, “I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in the Olympics before, and for the first year, (it) was a bit much.”
Not only does she have the pressure of being one of the biggest faces in sports today, but Osaka also was playing for Japan, home of the Tokyo Olympics. Speaking on the long break she took before games, she explained to a group of reporters, “I’ve taken long breaks before and I’ve managed to do well. I’m not saying that I did bad right now, but I do know that my expectations were a lot higher.”
“I feel like my attitude wasn’t that great,” she said, “because I don’t really know how to cope with that pressure, so that’s the best that I could have done in this situation.”
Her victorious opponent, Vondrousova, also reportedly shared her thoughts about the unique pressure Osaka has faced in the competition, saying, “It’s tough for her also playing in Japan and in the Olympics. It’s so much pressure, I cannot imagine.”
Despite her defeat, Osaka still has plenty of positive memories of her Olympics debut, including winning her first match and having the high honor of lighting the Olympic cauldron — the latter of which, she said, was “undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life.”
We stand with all our Olympians.