TOKYO (Reuters) – Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas qualified for the third round of tennis in men’s singles at the Olympics as Japanese medal hopeful Naomi Osaka was knocked out of the women’s event after a surprise loss on the court central Tuesday.
The roof of Ariake Tennis Park’s main exhibition ground was closed to allow the day’s marquee matches to unfold, although the game was briefly suspended elsewhere during a morning downpour in Tokyo.
World men’s number four Tsitsipas avenged his straight-set loss to Frances Tiafoe at Wimbledon last month, knocking out the American 6-3 6-4 to secure a place in the third round.
Tsitsipas attributed his victory to improving “levels of focus and attention” at the Games. His defeat in the first round at Wimbledon came just days after being beaten in a heartbreaking five-set loss to top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros final.
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, who took the field after play resumed in the afternoon, also advanced to the third round with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic.
The women’s draw was wide open after quadruple Grand Slam champion and world number two Osaka was beaten 6-1 6-4 by Marketa Vondrousova in one of the Games’ biggest surprises.
Osaka, who returned to competition this week after retiring from Roland Garros in May over mental health issues, never found their rhythm against the 42nd-ranked Czech, later attributing the loss to pressure she endured as one of Japan’s foremost Olympic ambassadors. .
Vondrousova, who had never played for Osaka before, described the match as one of the biggest wins of her career.
“Of course she’s one of the bigger ones. Naomi is a great player, she has so many Grand Slams so I knew it would be a tough game. But I’m just really happy with my game,” said the 22-year-old. noted.
Osaka’s defeat came after world leader Ash Barty and world number three Aryna Sabalenka were sent off in previous rounds.
“It’s very open now,” said Vondrousova, who will then meet Spain’s Paula Badosa. “I think all the girls are playing really well. Now it’s the quarterfinals, so we’ll see.”
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Karishma Singh)