(SATSports) – The host country’s superstar is out of the Tokyo Olympics.
Naomi Osaka lost to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4 in the third round of the Olympic tennis tournament on Tuesday.
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, who lit the Olympic cauldron in Friday’s opening ceremony, 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.
Shortly after the match was over, organizers said that Osaka had left the venue and would not be talking to the media. Osaka spoke openly to reporters after her first two matches. That came after she announced in May going into the French Open that she wouldn’t speak to reporters at that tournament, saying those interactions create doubts for her.