Naomi Osaka saw her Olympic gold medal dream shattered by a third-round defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Tokyo 2020 on Tuesday. Osaka lit the Olympic cauldron on Friday and was widely hailed as the 'face of the Games', with the enormous expectation that she would go on to triumph for hosts Japan.
The early exit of world number one Ash Barty seemed to help her case, but Osaka lost 6-1 6-4 to her Czech opponent in an hour and eight minutes.
Osaka played a dismal opening set but then looked to have raised her game a notch in the second, establishing an early break.
However, that did not herald a full-blown fightback as former French Open runner-up Vondrousova soon got back on level terms and forced Osaka to serve to stay in the contest.
From 15-40, Osaka saved two match points, but Vondrousova soon had a third opportunity and her spirited defence won out.
Osaka flung a backhand wide this time and Vondrousova had her prized scalp, securing a place in the quarter-finals at the expense of the world number two.
It was an untidy performance from Osaka who made 32 unforced errors to just 10 from Vondrousova.
This was Osaka's first tournament since pulling out of the French Open at the end of May, in the wake of a first-round win. She cited depression and anxiety issues in Paris after announcing she would not take part in news conferences during the tournament.