She trusted her the least. But she remains the last Czech tennis hope for a single medal from the Olympic Games. Markéta Vondroušová thrilled the sports world by advancing through the Japanese superstar Naomi Osaka, and on Wednesday, early in the morning of Central European Time, she will fight to advance to the semifinals.
She stayed in the background the whole time. Under the five Olympic rings, Czech players were more confident about all three of her colleagues, the recent Wimbledon finalist Karolína Plíšková, the run-up French Open champion Barbora Krejčíková and the experienced bronze defender of Rio from Petra Kvitová.
However, all three of her currently more famous compatriots fell in front of the gates of the quarterfinals in Tokyo, so in the end it is Markéta Vondroušová who holds the banner of Czech tennis and attacks the Olympic medal.
Her nomination for the games caused controversy, and the 22-year-old native of Sokolov even faced threats and vulgar attacks.
In accordance with the rules, Vondroušová used the protected rankings and got to the sports holiday at the expense of her higher-ranking friend Karolína Muchová.
At a recent Wimbledon, she revealed that she was “wrong”. Mainly from the reactions of people who in many cases considered her approach to be selfish.
“Everyone wants to go to the Olympics, and I’ve been determined to take it since February. Kaja knew it, I told her. Someone may say I’m selfish, but I won the place the year before last. There’s nothing wrong with that. She was it would be a shame not to use it when it can, “Vondroušová explained to journalists in London.
When she defeated Anett Kontaveit, a Estonian from the first round, in the grass grand slam, she considered it a satisfaction. For the argument for fans that it belongs to the Olympics.
If she didn’t convince them there, which is likely, given that she was eliminated in the second round with the young British Emma Raducanu, she had to silence her heyers in Tokyo.
He handles an extremely heavy moose with grace. In the first round, she won a difficult battle against former world number four Kiki Bertens, in the second round she swept the unpredictable Mihaela Buzarnescu and deserved the highest possible honor.
Challenge a local icon, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, to the round of 16 on Tokyo’s largest court.
Vondroušová grabbed one of her life’s opportunities powerfully by the hair and destroyed the big dream of a global tennis superstar and millions of Japanese with her colorful play. Osaka did not know how to play Czechs with gusto and immense energy and played only five games.
In the world media, her name is full of words like “shock” and “sensation”, despite the fact that two things were generally known before the match: Osaka can fail, and in Tokyo she found herself under hard-to-imagine pressure exacerbated at Friday’s ceremony. ceremony when she became the first tennis representative in history to receive the honor of lighting the Olympic flame.
And Vondrousova? When he has a day, he can beat anyone.
The Japanese press is logically sad. “Naomi Osaka ends up at the Olympics. Her defeat is a shock to the whole nation,” the Japan Times writes, adding: “The tennis star’s dreams of domestic Olympic gold were crushed by the Czech Markéta Vondroušová.”
According to the daily, Osaka fought with inconsistency, which, however, does not reduce the unusual performance of the Czech player.
“Although she got a chance to return to the match, in the end she had no answer to a number of clever shorts from Vondroušová,” the Japan Times writes, quoting the enthusiastic words of the winner: happy for the way I played. “
The Japan News also emotionally reports on the mournful end of the superstar, but even here they appreciate the quality of the opponent’s game.
“Osaka could not rely on her usually reliable blows from the baseline. Vondrouš, on the other hand, produced a series of clever winners and, with her dexterity, completely tore Naomi out of her comfort zone.”
The most cited statistics are unforced errors. While the best-earning woman of the entire Olympics cut thirty-two of them during the seventy-minute match, the Czech Republic was wrong only ten times.
The American ESPN speaks of a “flood of mistakes and growing frustration” as the main causes of the surprising defeat of the Japanese favorite. However, despite the early elimination, according to the station, Osaka left a strong legacy in Tokyo.
“The image of a torch lighting was a symbol of hope for a country that did not give up and hosted the Olympic Games in the midst of a world pandemic,” the author said.
Before the start of the games, the Japanese woman wanted to fill her compatriots with pride, which, in ESPN’s opinion, she managed to do without gaining a precious metal.
For medals, after all, the home nation so far on XXXII. peas have no need. Only Japanese judokas have already won five gold medals from the local tatami. Skateboarders are also celebrated. At the premiere of this sport, the land of the rising sun triumphed in both the women’s and men’s categories.