'Oh wow': Disbelief over 'shocking' Naomi Osaka Olympics drama

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Pictured here, Naomi Osaka looks shattered after crashing out of the Tokyo Games.
Naomi Osaka crashed out of the Tokyo Games after a shock straight sets loss in the third round. Pic: Getty

Naomi Osaka has crashed out of the Olympic Games after a stunning upset defeat that has left the tennis world in disbelief.

The Japanese star - who lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony - was favourite to claim gold in Tokyo after the exits of fellow top seeds Ash Barty and Aryna Sabalenka.

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However, Osaka joined her heavyweight rivals on the Olympics scrapheap after being stunned in straight sets by the Czech Republic's Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.

Vondrousova - a former French Open finalist - sent Osaka packing from her home Games after a 6-1, 6-4 win in the third round of the Tokyo tournament.

The second-ranked Osaka, who was born in Japan and grew up in the United States, struggled with her usually reliable groundstrokes.

The 42nd-ranked Vondrousova produced a series of drop-shot winners and other crafty shots that drew Osaka out of her comfort zone.

Osaka won her opening two matches in straight sets following a two-month mental-health break. 

But conditions were different Tuesday with the roof closed because it was raining outside.

The four-time major winner - arguably host nation Japan's most popular star - just couldn't find her rhythm as her Olympic dream came to a sad end.

The 23-year-old's upset loss was met with widespread shock and disappointment from fans on social media.

Errors cost Naomi Osaka dearly 

Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony, struggled in an error-strewn display under the centre court roof at Ariake Tennis Park and was knocked out in 68 minutes.

She made a dreadful start by dropping serve in the opening game. The second seed was broken twice more as 2019 French Open runner-up Vondrousova raced away with the first set.

Osaka broke in the second set but relinquished the early advantage with a double fault that allowed Vondrousova to level at two games apiece.

The 23-year-old four-time Grand Slam winner grappled with inconsistency, and even when given a sniff of regaining the initiative she had no response to Vondrousova's array of crafty drop shots.

Seen here, Naomi Osaka prepares to leave court after exiting in the third round in Tokyo.
Naomi Osaka's hopes of delivering hosts Japan a gold medal in tennis were ended in the third round. Pic: Getty

Osaka saved two match points as she served to stay alive at 4-5 but Vondrousova converted at the third time of asking as the Japanese star smacked a backhand wide.

The defeat comes after a turbulent few months for Osaka, who first refused to attend press conferences at the French Open and then said she was taking time out from tennis as she battled depression and anxiety.

She missed Wimbledon but returned for the Olympic tournament and had seemed back on her game in the early rounds in Tokyo.

Vondrousova, ranked 42nd, will go on to face Spain's Paula Badosa or Nadia Podoroska of Argentina.

with agencies

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