Naomi Osaka Tokyo Olympics

Naomi Osaka admits ‘scale is so much bigger’ at home Olympics

World number two Naomi Osaka is in awe of just how much more important it seems to be representing her nation at the Olympics.

The Australian Open champion cruised into the third round by overcoming Viktorija Golubic in a little over an hour.

In doing so, Naomi Osaka set up a meeting with 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova for a spot in the quarter-finals.

“The flag is next to my name no matter what tournament I play,” the Japanese explained to American television. “But I feel like the scale of this is much bigger.

“It’s something I’ve been waiting for for eight years.”

Making your Olympic debut at a home Games must bring its own particular pressures, on top of the fact that Osaka is the highest ranked player left in the women’s singles.

But the four-time Slam champion was pragmatic following her victory, expressing her delight at just getting out on-court.

“Well for me I feel really happy playing tennis again,” she told the BBC. “And of course, this occasion is something that I’ve always dreamed about.

“I missed [playing] a lot. Of course, I felt like I needed a break, but it’s really cool to watch players playing on TV and then playing against them.”