Updated Jul 27, 2021 - Sports

Naomi Osaka on upset loss: "This one sucks more than the others"

Photo of Naomi Osaka in her Olympic uniform breathing out a breath with a large screen reflecting her image

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

The pressure that came with her Olympic debut contributed to the tennis star's unexpected loss to No. 42-ranked Marketa Vondrousova, Naomi Osaka told reporters on Tuesday, per AP.

The latest: "I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others," said Osaka, who had hoped to win gold on home soil.

  • "I’ve taken long breaks before and I’ve managed to do well," added Osaka, who was hypervisible as the face of the Tokyo Olympics. "I do know that my expectations were a lot higher."
  • "I feel like my attitude wasn’t that great 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."

When happened in Tokyo:

  • Day 2 first-round matches began July 24 at 10 p.m. ET. Osaka won against China's Saisai Zheng, 6-1, 6-4.
  • Second-round matches began July 25 at 10 p.m. ET, where Osaka lost to the Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-4.
  • She lost in the third round, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday.

The big picture: The women's world No. 2-ranked player returned to the court for the first time at the Olympics after withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year, triggering global conversations about mental health in sports.

  • Growing up as a Black and Asian girl wasn't easy for Osaka. Japanese crowds, including her grandparents, did not always consider her their own. It was only after she started gaining traction that they put their weight behind Osaka.
  • But her identity has always been an extension of her. Her recent vulnerability about mental health has forced the sports world to reckon with the way athletes are treated — especially women of color.

Major championship titles...

  • 🏆 - Australian Open (2021)
  • 🏆 - U.S. Open (2020)
  • 🏆 - Australian Open (2019)
  • 🏆 - U.S. Open (2018)
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