Naomi Osaka on Loss at 2021 Olympics: 'This One Sucks More Than the Others'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 27, 2021

Naomi Osaka, of Japan, plays Marketa Vondrousova, of the Czech Republic, during the third round of the tennis competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Naomi Osaka fell short in her dream of winning Olympic gold in front of her home fans Tuesday, losing in straight sets to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic.

Speaking after the match, Osaka said the loss "sucks more than the others" she's felt in her career.

"I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this," Osaka said. "I think it's maybe because I haven't played in the Olympics before and for the first year [it] was a bit much."

Osaka withdrew from the French Open and Wimbledon over mental health concerns. Before the French Open, she expressed a desire to not speak to the media after matches because of anxiety. However, the 23-year-old withdrew from the tournament in May after the first round following Roland Garros' decision to fine and threaten Osaka with expulsion from the tournament.

Osaka said she was feeling "refreshed" and "happy" after her first-round match in Tokyo.

"There's nothing wrong with my body; I just felt really nervous," Osaka said Sunday. "I haven't played since France, so there were definitely some things that I did a bit wrong, but I think I can improve in the matches that I continue playing."

After losing to the 42nd-ranked Vondrousova, Osaka said her issues on the court were more mental than physical. The world No. 2 said she has done well despite long breaks in the past but her mindset was not where it needed to be. 

"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 said.

Osaka lit the flame for the 2021 Olympic Games for her home country.