Why Naomi Osaka's loss at the Tokyo Games is disappointing
Naomi Osaka came into the Tokyo Games as the overwhelming favourite. Unfortunately, the event’s torchbearer was upset by massive underdog Markéta Vondroušová in the third round. This ends Naomi’s maiden Summer Games run which is disappointing to see.
Naomi was the poster child of this edition of the Summer Games since she was seen as the number one athlete for both Japan and tennis. She walked away from playing for the United States to stay true to her heritage but she failed in her campaign to make the Japanese people proud. This was a heartbreaking loss for her but a massive win for Vondroušová.
She wanted to win a gold medal for her homeland but she failed. This was a sad moment for her and Japan but you can expect Naomi to bounce back next time. She is still one of the best athletes in the world and she was caught off guard on a bad day by Vondroušová.
Expectations were not met
When you look at the WTA Tour rankings, Naomi holds the second spot just behind Ashleigh Barty. Before the Games, Naomi didn’t play in multiple events which can be the reason why she fell out of the running so early. She was not fit and ready enough to keep up and Vondroušová surprised her with an aggressive style. Naomi was unable to keep up and the young Czech star capitalized.
Naomi talked about how expectations were not met during this event. She said, ‘I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this. I think it's maybe because I haven't played in the Games before and for the first year (it) was a bit much. I've taken long breaks before and I've managed to do well. I'm not saying that I did bad right now, but I do know that my expectations were a lot higher’.
It was evident that Naomi struggled under the pressure of playing for an entire nation. She wanted to represent them but the last few months have taken a toll on her. The media storm she had to face weighed on her and she found it hard to train for this moment.
Disappointment should lead to future success
If you don’t know anything about Naomi, you should learn that she knows how to bounce back. She has had a successful career and at just 23 years of age, she already has four Grand Slam titles. This is a down performance from her but she always knows how to recover and come back stronger.
After the loss, Naomi had a presser where she addressed the tough loss. She said, ‘How disappointed am I? I mean, I'm disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others. Everything -- if you watch the match then you would probably see. I feel like there's a lot of things that I counted on that I couldn't rely on today’.
It will be fun to see how Naomi bounces back in the future because you just know she’s ready to prove her doubters wrong again. This loss will stay with her for a long time and she will be motivated every time she steps onto the court.
Naomi is a stellar talent and doubting her will always be a mistake. She knows her boundless potential and she hopes to maximize it. Future success will come and this loss will be a big motivational factor for Naomi since she felt so disappointed after the match.
Words: Cholo Martin