Osaka Storms Into Tokyo Olympics Third Round; Sabalenka, Swiatek, Kvitova Upset
Tournament favorite Naomi Osaka cruised in the third round at the Tokyo Olympics. The Japanese sensation ousted Wimbledon quarterfinalist Victorija Golubic 6-3, 6-2 to the delight of her home nation.
“I put this pressure on myself to do well because I know that I don’t play that many tournaments,” said Osaka. “For me, I feel like I’ve watched these players playing the tournaments while I was on my break, so I just really, really want to do well.
“I feel like, as long as I work hard, relatively keep my head down, then good things will happen,” she added. “For me, it’s a dream to be here, to play the Olympics. This is my first time. I’m just trying to cherish this experience.”
Osaka is back on court today to face one-time French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.
Maria Sakkari and Elina Svitolina also advanced to a third round meeting today. And Barbora Krejcikova and Belinda Bencic set-up a big showdown today.
But the upsets continued. World No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka fell apart in a shock loss to former Top 20 Donna Vekic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3).
“It is really good, really satisfying,” said Vekic. “Winning 7-6 in the third set is always great. She’s playing really good tennis this year so I’m sure this win will give me a lot of confidence.
“I don’t want to think about my chances of a medal. I’ve played two tough, long matches. I’ve come here I would say not 100 per cent prepared. I’m still struggling a little bit with my knee. I’m just taking it one day at a time. I will try to recover and get ready for tomorrow.”
Petra Kvitova faded in a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 defeat to Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium and former French champion Iga Swiatek was left teary-eyed following a 6-3, 7-6(4) loss to Paula Badosa.
“She’s a legend in our sport,” said Van Uytvanck. “She’s an absolute great player and it’s an honour to share the court with her – that’s what I told her at the net. I think what she has done for women’s tennis is incredible.
“I hope that I can maybe some day achieve the same things she has achieved. I’m proud of myself with what I did on court today and the level I reached.”
Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova were all winners as well.
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