Naomi Osaka is back on the court, and she’s already won the first two matches in the beginning days of her Olympics debut in Tokyo.
On to the third round: Representing Japan in the Games, Osaka faced off against China’s Zheng Saisai on Sunday and defeated her opponent 6-1, 6-4 in Ariake Tennis Park’s Centre Court. In the second round on Monday, she defeated Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic, 6-3, 6-2.
- Osaka, who’s ranked number two in the world, will need two more wins to be up for a medal.
- For the next match, she will be playing against Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova.
Return to the court: The Olympic events are Osaka’s first time competing in two months, after taking a break to prioritize her mental health, according to CNN.
- In May, the 23-year-old star athlete announced her withdrawal from the French Open after organizers fined her $15,000 for not attending a press conference. Weeks later, she also withdrew from Wimbledon, explaining that she was taking “personal time.”
- Speaking to reporters after the weekend match, Osaka said she felt “refreshed and happy” coming back from her break, Teen Vogue reported.
- “More than anything else, I’m just focused on playing tennis,” she said. “The Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, so I feel like the break that I took was very needed.”
Osaka makes history: On the opening night of the Olympics, Osaka went down in history as the first tennis player to light the Olympic cauldron.
- Critics had more to say about it, with one writer questioning whether she was Japanese enough to light the cauldron.
- Nonetheless, Osaka took to social media to express her appreciation, describing the moment as “undoubtedly the greatest achievement and honor I will ever have in my life.”
Undoubtedly the greatest athletic achievement and honor I will ever have in my life. I have no words to describe the feelings I have right now but I do know I am currently filled with gratefulness and thankfulness ❤️ love you guys thank you. pic.twitter.com/CacWQ5ToUD
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 23, 2021
Featured Image via Getty