Naomi Osaka (WTA 2) has said there was “a little too much pressure” on her shoulders when she was knocked out by Czech Marketa Vondrousova (WTA 42) in the women’s eighth final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.
“Obviously I’m disappointed after every defeat, but this one hurts more than the others,” said 23-year-old Osaka. “Everything went wrong today, you only have to watch the game to see that. It was like everything I normally rely on failed. I feel like my attitude (on the field, ed.) wasn’t very good because I didn’t really know how to handle the pressure.”
A two-time winner of the Australian Open and the US Open, Naomi Osaka was a favorite for this tournament, which she played on home soil, with all the expectations that entailed. “I really feel there was a lot of pressure around these Games. I think maybe it’s because I’ve never played in the Olympics and the first year was a bit too much for me. But I’m still happy with the way I played because I haven’t played for a while,” said the Japanese, who also lit the Olympic flame during the opening ceremony.
In Tokyo, Osaka played her first tournament since she withdrew from Roland Garros. “I’ve had longer breaks in my career and I’ve always managed to do well after that. I’m not saying I did poorly here, but my expectations were much higher.”