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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.

  • The 23-year-old had kicked off the Tokyo Games by lighting the Olympic cauldron — "undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life," she tweeted after the ceremony.
  • She has dominated the sport since blowing up on the international scene in 2013. Osaka, who is Black and Asian, has also gained recognition for her activism, which highlights mental health, Black Lives Matter and anti-Asian hate, among other issues.
  • 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)
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Aug 7, 2021 - Sports

Winners and losers of the Summer Games

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The Tokyo Games were a wake-up call for the mental health of Olympic athletes and a groundbreaking event for the LGBTQ community — but a big loss for NBC and anyone who wanted Russia to actually get punished for the doping scandal.

Updated Aug 8, 2021 - Sports

10 Olympic stories you may have missed

Suni Lee. Photo: Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Go deeper: Full Axios coverageMedal count

Trump says he plans to launch new social media network in 2022

Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump on Wednesday announced plans to launch a social media network called "Truth Social," and that it would go public via a SPAC.

Why it matters: Most ex-presidents are focused on their legacies, by creating presidential libraries or engaging in philanthropic endeavors. Trump, however, remains consumed by social media.