Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has been eliminated from the Olympics after losing to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.
This was the 24-year-old’s first time competing in the Olympics. She was playing for Japan.
“I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this,” Osaka said to the Associated Press. “I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in the Olympics before and for the first year (it) was a bit much.”
The Olympics marked Osaka’s return to the court after withdrawing from both the French Open and Wimbledon to be closer with family and friends. She is currently ranked #2 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association.
“I’ve taken long breaks before and I’ve managed to do well,” Osaka said to CNN. “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 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.”
Osaka had won her first two matches during the Tokyo Olympics. The final score of her final match was 6-1, 6-4.
“It’s tough for her also playing in Japan and in the Olympics,” Vondrousova also said. “It’s so much pressure, I cannot imagine.”
A high point will forever be close to her heart though—her lighting the Olympic torch.
“Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life,” Osaka wrote of the moment on Instagram. “I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness, love you guys thank you.”