Number two seed and local hope Naomi Osaka crashed out of Tokyo Olympics after suffering a straight set defeat to unseeded Czech player Marketa Vondrousova.
Osaka lost 1-6, 4-6 to the former French Open finalist in the third round of the Olympic tennis tournament on Tuesday.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics marked the return of Osaka after a two-month mental-health break. The Japanese player had pulled out French Open and Wimbledon in the recent past.
Her return was to the delight of many and a historic making when she lit the Olympic cauldron in Friday’s opening ceremony.
She then went on to win her opening two matches in straight sets but conditions were different Tuesday with the roof closed as rain poured outside.
Despite Osaka loss, Tokyo residents reacted to the Japanese idol kindly.
75-year-old retiree Takashi Suzuki said, "but she fulfilled her mission, selected as the final torch bearer for the torch relay. I think that was really wonderful." 24-year-old Yuya Okugawa said, "I'm rooting for her, that's all."
However good that is, this is the end of a dream for Naomi Osaka and the beginning of a big one for Vondrousova. “I just really believed the second I stepped on the court,” Vondrousova said after her win.
Her quarterfinal opponent will be either Nadia Podoroska of Argentina or Paula Badosa of Spain.