Tennis star left 'inconsolable' in devastating scenes at Olympics

Iga Swiatek, pictured here sobbing into her towel after losing at the Olympics.
Iga Swiatek was sobbing into her towel after losing at the Olympics. Image: Twitter

The women's tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics was rocked by absolute chaos on Monday when top seeds Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Petra Kvitova all crashed out.

Novak Djokovic strolled into the third round, while Naomi Osaka's path to gold opened up further after a host of leading women's seeds exited.

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Osaka is the highest-ranked player left in the women's draw following the shock first-round exit of World No.1 and Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty.

And on Monday the upsets continued.

Third seed Aryna Sabalenka was beaten by Donna Vekic, while 2020 French Open champion Swiatek was left in tears after going down in straight sets to Spain's Paula Badosa.

Swiatek was seen sobbing into her towel a good 10 minutes after her match had finished, clearly distraught that her Olympic dream was over.

She also sat down outside the court and continued to cry before making her way out of the arena.

The devastating scenes left tennis fans and commentators stunned.

Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck then knocked out Czech 10th seed Kvitova in three sets as Sara Sorribes Tormo backed up her defeat of Barty with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Fiona Ferro.

Elina Svitolina was in danger of joining the exodus of top players, but the Ukrainian scrapped her way past Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova beat Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez 6-2, 6-4 and two-time grand slam winner Garbine Muguruza swatted China's Wang Qiang aside for the loss of just three games.

Paula Badosa, pictured here celebrating her victory over Iga Swiatek at the Tokyo Olympics.
Paula Badosa celebrates her victory over Iga Swiatek at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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Osaka raced into the last 16 as she powered past Switzerland's Viktorija Golubic 6-3, 6-2 in just over an hour, playing her second match in as many days after lighting the Olympic cauldron on Friday.

"It definitely would mean a lot for me to win gold here, but I know it's a process," said Osaka, who next plays 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.

"I know that these are the best players in the world and I honestly haven't played in a while so I'm trying to take it one match at a time. But all in all I'm just really happy to be here."

Meanwhile, Djokovic smacked 14 aces in a 6-4, 6-3 win over Germany's 48th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff and will play Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina for a place in the quarter-finals.

"I was struggling with certain things in the first round, but today was far more pleasant to play, just a higher level of tennis on my side," said Djokovic.

"I'm very pleased with the way I felt on the court."

As Djokovic edges closer towards a 'Golden Slam', after already snapping up the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles this year, he appears unfazed by the rising pressure.

"I think that once you reach the top spots in the rankings and start winning Slams, you're going to experience different kinds of expectations and pressure from yourself and people around," said Djokovic.

"Being a Grand Slam champion and being number one in the world carries a lot of weight."

with AFP

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