The quarterfinals of the women’s singles tournament are coming into focus Tuesday in the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Naomi Osaka’s quest for gold ran through Marketa Vondrousova in the round of 16. Fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina faced a stiff challenge from French Open semifinalist Maria Sakkari. No. 8 Belinda Bencic and No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova crossed paths in another highly anticipated matchup.
Of course, all eyes were on Osaka in her home country.
Women’s Singles Third-Round Results
Marketa Vondrousova def. No. 2 Naomi Osaka, 6-1, 6-4
Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. No. 13 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova vs. No. 8 Belinda Bencic
Donna Vekic vs. No. 15 Elena Rybakina
Alison Van Uytvanck vs. No. 7 Garbine Muguruza
No. 5 Karolina Pliskova vs. Camila Giorgi
No. 14 Maria Sakkari vs. No. 4 Elina Svitolina
Paula Badosa vs. Nadia Podoroska
The warning signs came early for Osaka in the first set as she dropped her first two service games and fell behind 0-4. The four-time Grand Slam champion wasn’t her usual self as she committed 14 unforced errors in the opening set.
Vondrousova did her part to roll through the opening frame. The 22-year-old Czech overpowered her opponent at times and didn’t hesitate to utilize her heavy left-handed forehand.
With an opportunity to reset, things were looking up for Osaka to get the second set underway. She broke Vondrousova’s serve in the first game and jumped ahead 2-0. However, the next two games confirmed the 23-year-old remained in a tough battle as Vondrousova broke back to tie the set at 2-2.
The two exchanged serve until Osaka was attempting to stay alive at 4-5. She managed to stave off a pair of match points after falling behind 15-40. Vondrousova kept ramping up the pressure and the third match point was the charm.
A cross-court backhand from Osaka sailed wide to seal the unexpected upset. She finished with 32 unforced errors, more than triple that of her opponent (10). Vondrousova, meanwhile, registered four aces and 18 groundstroke winners.
Between taking down Kiki Bertens in the first round and soundly defeating Osaka, she could be a tough out in the quarterfinals.
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