Tokyo (AFP)

The Japanese Naomi Osaka, world No.2 and big favorite of the Tokyo Olympic Games tennis tournament, was eliminated Tuesday in the round of 16 by the Czech Marketa Vondrousova (42nd), 6-1, 6-4 in barely More than an hour.

After the elimination of the world No. 1, the Australian Ashleigh Barty on Sunday, it is another contender for the Olympic title who leaves prematurely.

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina (6th) is now the highest ranked player still in contention.

Osaka, chosen to light the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony, made its return to competition in Tokyo after two months of absence due to psychological distress.

A real star in Japan, she was eagerly awaited in her native country.

But despite her four Grand Slam titles (US Open 2018 and 2020, Australian Open 2019 and 2021), the 23-year-old has appeared fragile in recent months.

She withdrew from Roland Garros at the end of May after refusing to appear in front of the press to "preserve her sanity", before withdrawing from Wimbledon.

Tuesday, too inconstant in the service (64% of first balls) and committing too many errors (32 unforced errors), the Japanese seemed totally overwhelmed against the finalist of Roland-Garros 2019 under the roof of Ariake Tennis Park, closed for the first time in the tournament due to weather disrupted by the tropical storm that hit Tokyo.

After the loss of the first set in just 24 minutes, Osaka failed to come back in the second set, despite an early break, an advantage quickly lost on a double fault.

Vondrousova won on her third match point, after only 1:08 of play.

The Czech will meet in the quarter-final the winner of the meeting between Spain's Paula Badosa and Argentina's Nadia Podoroska.

© 2021 AFP