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Naomi Osaka Can’t Handle The Pressure, Gets Knocked Out of Olympics By No. 42-Ranked Player

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Naomi Osaka has been in the news a lot recently, including here at OutKick. After refusing to do post-match interviews, she quit the French Open. Soon after, she withdrew her name and pulled out of Wimbledon, citing issues with anxiety and depression.

Since then, she’s been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, she’s gotten a multi-part Netflix special, and she lit the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony just days ago. In other words, things seemed to be going pretty well for her.

That was until Monday night when the 23-year-old suffered a shocking defeat in the third round of the women’s singles. The 6-1, 6-4 loss in Tokyo came at the hands of Marketa Vondrousova, who is ranked No. 42 in the world. Yes, No. 42 unseated No. 2 at the Olympics. When I say shocking, I mean it.

Apparently, the long hiatus from playing and nerves about playing in her first Olympics took their toll. Or at least that’s what Osaka is saying.

“I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this,” Osaka said afterwards, via Yahoo Sports. “I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in the Olympics before and for the first year (it) was a bit much. I think I’m glad with how I played, with taking that break that I had.

“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.

“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.”

According to Eleanor Crooks, a PA Tennis Correspondent covering the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Osaka originally planned to leave the site without talking to the media. Osaka said as much in an apparent social media post, but ultimately returned to answer questions.

“I’m disappointed in every loss, but I feel like this one sucks more than the others,” Osaka admitted.

That feels a lot more like Cam Newton after that Super Bowl 50 loss than it does someone with social anxiety. Star athletes never want to talk to the media after suffering a brutal loss, especially one that’s completely unexpected. But she did return for questions, however, so props for that.


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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and TideSports.com.

9 Comments

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  1. Lmfao hey just stop playing the sport you fucking idiot. There were no people in the stands and nobody watching at home and you still felt intense self created pressure in the third round??? You are just simply not cut out for this shit what a weak minded victim loser.

    • Hey man that’s not nice. Naomi, although not mentally up for playing tennis or answering questions, she is aware of who she is and embraces her mixed race identity. So brave, just so brave!

  2. She got her ass handed to her. Her opponent could be credited for her loss, but same ole same ole Sarina Williams post interviews. Always says she didn’t play her best rather than admit you got your ass whooped, thus giving credit to the challenger

  3. When she first started talking about how her mental health was threatened by media attention, I fell for it.

    Look at all the money she’s made since the French Open by putting herself in the media spotlight. Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover? Really?

    Now, the greatest gymnast in history has said she can’t compete because of, well, her mental health. I believe Ms. Biles is following Ms. Osaka’s formula to add millions to her portfolio.

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