27th July, 2021
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has been knocked out of the women’s singles event.
She fell 6-1 6-4 in the third round to Czech Marketa Vondrousova.
Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday to open the Games delayed by a year due to the pandemic, looked out of sorts and never settled into a rhythm.
“I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in an Olympics before and for the first one to be here was a bit much,” Osaka said.
The Tokyo Games marked Osaka’s first tournament since she pulled out of the French Open in May.
“I’ve taken long breaks before and I’ve managed to do well,” Osaka said.
“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.”
Vondrousova, 22, will next face either Spain’s Paula Badosa or Nadia Podoroska of Argentina.
Osaka is listed in the field to play in the US Open in New York, which starts in August. She is the defending champion.
The women’s tennis event has now lost both of its top draw cards after world number one Ash Barty was beaten in the first round.
Other competitors fared better.
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In the women’s triathlon, Flora Duffy, 33, achieved instant national hero status when she won Bermuda’s first Olympic gold medal.
With about 63,000 residents, the British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean became the smallest nation to win a Summer Olympic gold medal.
In the pool, Russian Evgeny Rylov broke a U.S. stranglehold on the men’s 100m backstroke, while Tom Dean powered to gold in the men’s 200m freestyle, heading a British one-two with Duncan Scott taking silver.
Olympic organisers remained on alert to monitor the impact from a tropical storm off Japan’s east coast, with the nation’s hot, wet and unstable summer weather patterns a persistent concern for the Games.
At the archery venue, early rounds of the individual events were delayed by some two and a half hours due to the storm.
In Yokohama, just south of Tokyo, the sun emerged just after Canada beat Mexico for the softball bronze, playing through a steady drizzle and strong gusts of wind.
Tokyo was forecast to receive up to 31.5mm (1.2 inches) of rain over 24 hours from tropical storm Nepartak, now forecast to make landfall in the north early on Wednesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.