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The latest: "I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others," said Osaka, who had hoped to win gold on home soil.
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"I’ve taken long breaks before and I’ve managed to do well," added Osaka, who was hypervisible as the face of the Tokyo Olympics. "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."
When happened in Tokyo:
Day 2 first-round matches began July 24 at 10 p.m. ET. Osaka won against China's Saisai Zheng, 6-1, 6-4.
Second-round matches began July 25 at 10 p.m. ET, where Osaka lost to the Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1, 6-4.
She lost in the third round, 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday.
The big picture: The women's world No. 2-ranked player returned to the court for the first time at the Olympics after withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon earlier this year, triggering global conversations about mental health in sports.
The 23-year-old had kicked off the Tokyo Games by lighting the Olympic cauldron — "undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life," she tweeted after the ceremony.
She has dominated the sport since blowing up on the international scene in 2013. Osaka, who is Black and Asian, has also gained recognition for her activism, which highlights mental health, Black Lives Matter and anti-Asian hate, among other issues.
Growing up as a Black and Asian girl wasn't easy for Osaka. Japanese crowds, including her grandparents, did not always consider her their own. It was only after she started gaining traction that they put their weight behind Osaka.
But her identity has always been an extension of her. Her recent vulnerability about mental health has forced the sports world to reckon with the way athletes are treated — especially women of color.
Major championship titles...
🏆 - Australian Open (2021)
🏆 - U.S. Open (2020)
🏆 - Australian Open (2019)
🏆 - U.S. Open (2018)
Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. 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. pic.twitter.com/CacWQ5ToUD
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 23, 2021
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