Osaka eases into third round of Olympic women’s singles but Swiatek goes out💥👩💥💥👩💥

As numerous prominent names continued to crumble around her, Naomi Osaka advanced in the women’s singles draw of the Tokyo Olympic Games by defeating Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round.

After lighting the Olympic cauldron and then registering her opening straight-sets win against China’s Saisai Zheng, Osaka will now face Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic as she continues her attempts to shrug off the surrounding pressure.

“It would mean a lot to win gold here, but I know it’s a process,” Osaka said. “I know these are the best players in the world, and honestly I haven’t played in a while, so I’m trying to take it one match at a time. All in all, I’m just really happy to be here.”

At the beginning of the tournament, one of the most anticipated contests was a possible quarter-final between the grand slam champions and good friends Iga Swiatek and Osaka, but Swiatek was unable to live up to her end of the bargain as she was outplayed 6-3, 7-6 (4) by Paula Badosa of Spain.

For all of the questions about tennis’s role in the Olympics, Swiatek’s reaction to the defeat showed how deeply this matters to many. She was already in tears after the final point and not even a sporting embrace from the Spaniard at the net could comfort her. Swiatek retreated to her seat and cried, devastated by the early defeat.

Swiatek was not alone among fallen top players. Aryna Sabalenka, the world No 3, was unable to maintain her recent lofty form as she was defeated by Donna Vekic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (3). Meanwhile Petra Kvitova’s struggles since her ankle injury at the French Open continued as her Olympics ended with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-0 defeat against Alison van Uytvanck.

In the men’s doubles, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will play no further role in the tournament after being beaten by a resurgent Kei Nishikori, who had already upset Andrey Rublev in the singles, and Ben McLachlan 6-3, 6-4. “Conditions are fast, it’s lively and points can tick by pretty quickly,” Murray said. “You don’t feel like you’re always leaving your mark on the match but it was a tough day for us, we’ve got to dust ourselves down and go across to the States and try and compete over there.”

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A new Covid case was revealed as Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands, the eighth seed in the men’s doubles alongside Wesley Koolhof, was forced to withdraw from the tournament after his positive test.

Rojer’s positive case is one of a number in the Netherlands camp, one of five traced back to a KLM flight that arrived in Tokyo from Amsterdam on 17 July. Rojer was not staying in the Olympic village.

Osaka eases into third round of Olympic women’s singles but Swiatek goes out

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