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January 21, 2016

Naomi Osaka

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

N. OSAKA/E. Svitolina

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Third round of a Grand Slam. Must be pretty excited.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I'm pretty happy right now.

Q. What were you're thoughts on that match?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, she plays really good. I was just thinking I have to be consistent and very steady and go for my shots when I have them.

Q. What were your expectations coming into this tournament?
NAOMI OSAKA: Not to be in the third round. I just wanted to qualify. That's all I was expecting.

Q. Now you're in the third round. Obviously you've, I guess, re-thought about how far you can go now in the tournament.
NAOMI OSAKA: Kind of, yeah. But I don't really like thinking about it too much because it freaks my out.

Q. After the first round you said you cannot reveal your strategies or plan against Svitolina. It's a top secret. Now can you tell us what was your plan?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, to keep the ball in the court (Smiling.) You know, just be steady. I wasn't really like I had a plan against her. It was more like what I should do. So I wasn't really focusing on the other side of the court.

Q. At the end of the first set when you were serving, there was kind of tricky calls and, you know, shots. One shot you made really good was called out or overcalled and it got replayed; her shot got the net and fell into your court. At that point, at the end of the first set, what was your mindset? What were you talking, telling to yourself?
NAOMI OSAKA: Mainly just don't get angry or anything at anything that happens. Just be happy that I'm actually playing in a Grand Slam.

I was just telling myself to be positive.

Q. When you take the timeout, was it stomachache or back pain?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I kind of pulled a muscle, so...

Q. Is it okay? No pain?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I won my match, so...

Q. Also, can you comment on the next opponent, Victoria?
NAOMI OSAKA: I actually didn't know I was going to play her. So I'm kind of excited right now, though.

Q. One of the top players in the world; won two Grand Slams. What are your...
NAOMI OSAKA: (Laughter.) I never feel pressure from playing someone that's supposed to be like better than me, sort of. I'm just going to go in there happy and hopefully try to pull off an upset.

Q. Did you enjoy the atmosphere of the show court? The match crowd was behind you.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, it was actually like there was a lot of Japanese people and they were actually cheering for me. So I was like really happy.

Q. Are you surprised by that? You always act like you're surprised when there's lots of Japanese fans behind you.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, because before, when I like -- I always, always think like they think I -- what am I saying? Okay. I always think that they're surprised that I'm Japanese. So like the fact that there was like Japanese flags and stuff, it was like really touching.

Q. Do you feel like you have been embraced by Japanese fans, Japanese media, all that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, yeah. It's really cool.

Q. You always makes fans excited with your play, but we rarely see you very excited. Even after you won the match you behave very, you know, reserved and you look very calm. Can we see you, you know, fist pump or something in the future?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, I do that on the court, though. I'm just like a really -- I don't want to say lazy, but if I don't have to show emotion, I'm just not gonna. I'm happy. Just genetically my face is like this. I'm sorry. (Laughter.)

Q. Similar to that, a lot of the people have been impressed by your composure on the court. Deep down are you just seething inside, or is there a lot more roiling underneath the surface or are you that composed?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. In my brain I'm going, Oh, my God, why about like 90% of the time.

But, you know, I feel like I try to smile sometimes just so I don't throw my racquet. I'm not sure if I threw my racquet today.

But, yeah, like I don't feel like I'm composed. I keep hearing people say that, but I'm like, Whoa, okay.

Q. So is your smile your version of a racquet throw?
NAOMI OSAKA: Wait, yeah. Wait, wait. Sometimes I'm like actually smiling.

Q. Not only Japanese people but local people also cheer you on in this match. Why do you think you could attract so many people? Why do you think?
NAOMI OSAKA: Probably because they think I'm interesting maybe.

Q. What especially? What point? What point do you think you're attracting so many people?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't know, actually. Maybe it's because they can't really pinpoint what I am, so it's like anybody can cheer for me. I'm sorry, I don't know. I tried my best.

Q. Coming back to today's match, two years ago you played against Svitolina. If I remember correctly, you won the first set and then...
NAOMI OSAKA: Don't say it. You're going to say I was up 4-1 in the third set, aren't you? Oh, you weren't? Okay. Sorry.

Q. You took first set, and then you let her come back. This time you won straight against her. So how do you compare today's match to previous match, and how do you see your progress you have made or your maturity?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I think back then I was just hitting everything blindly, so I wasn't really being consistent at all.

Well, maturity, I'm just trying to be really stable right now. So I don't really feel like my shots have changed that much. It's just in between the points I have put more balls in the court.

Q. Is it easy for you to be stable? There were many long rallies today, like really long rallies, and you kept your calm; very mature. Is that easy?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, it's not. Sometimes when people hit my forehand, I'm like, Just go for it, Just hit it. But then I have to put it back inside the court, so it's like -- because I feel like I have the shot, but it's just like forcing myself to put it inside of the court instead of go for it.

Q. When do you think you kind of learned how to not go for every ball?
NAOMI OSAKA: Like when I'm practicing and my dad just tells me to be consistent all the time. All the time. So, yeah. It's kind of been drilled into my head to like play safer.

Q. Is it as fun?
NAOMI OSAKA: Not hitting?

Q. Not hitting the big ball and being more consistent?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, winning is fun, so, you know, like if I hit everything and I lose, that's not fun. I'd rather be consistent and win.

Q. Was that a big mental shift for you? It sounds like you worked in the offseason on that switch from going for a lot to being more consistent.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, because I worked a lot on fitness I feel like I'm able to stay in long points more. So, yeah, I guess I was working on it a lot.

Q. Do you feel like fitness may be the most underestimated part of the your tennis?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, because that's basically all I'm supposed to do. I just don't do it. I don't know what I'm saying. I'm sorry.

Q. You said you didn't expect to be in the third round, but how do you shift your expectations when you make it there and then you play a top 15 player like Vika?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, okay, I don't know. I feel like there's something wrong with me because I don't get excited or anything that much.

Like I just learn that I'm going to play someone and I'm like, Okay, I'm going to play them. So I don't really do like background checks or anything to psych myself out. Yeah.

Q. Do you know who play next round yet?
NAOMI OSAKA: Azarenka.

Q. What's your expectation of that match?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't really have any. I just want to play really good. I know that if I play good, then maybe I can win.

Q. Do you have any preference of the court? Rod Laver or Margaret Court?
NAOMI OSAKA: Hopefully the biggest one, Rod Laver. I kind of like big courts, so...

Q. Does it make you nervous if you stand on Rod Laver or Margaret Court? Make you happy?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, it makes me happy because it's kind of like I played all these matches to go on the big court, so going there makes me happy.

Q. After match you make a small bow. Is that your Japanese side?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, it's the only part of my Japanese side. Kind of because there were a lot of people cheering for me, and I kind of wanted to show how grateful I was.

Q. Have you gotten a lot of questions or responses from people or fans on social media?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't have -- if I have, then I don't check.

Q. Your Facebook is pretty active though, really.
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, really?

Q. You don't check it?

Q. Is that something conscious?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I kind of just want to stay away while I'm at a tournament, because I don't -- if someone says something mean, then I'm just like crying in the corner, so...

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