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May 27, 2016

Naomi Osaka

Paris, France

S. HALEP/N. Osaka

4-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. It was a really close match and maybe you might feel like you had an opportunity to win today's match during the match. Could you talk a little bit about today's match.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, for sure I think I had opportunities, because I did win the first set. I don't think I really enforced my game on her, and I was making too many unforced errors.

But, I mean, she has more experience than me, so I feel like I'm not the greatest player ever, so I can't be upset that I lost, you know.

So I'm just gonna take this as like a learning lesson, because it's better than how I played in Australian Open third round, anyway. Yeah.

Q. Speaking of experience, of course you experienced the third of Grand Slam in Australia and played in the big stadium. How did you use that experience? How did you take that experience into today's match?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, during that match, I think I was a bit too timid, so during this match I tried to pump myself up a lot, not be too afraid of what she was going to do.

But I kind of went back to like hitting like softer. I was supposed to command the points more and not be that worried about if I make a mistake. But I started making a lot of unforced errors and stuff. So, yeah.

Q. Were you nervous before the match? And you could play as calm you can?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I was very nervous before this match, because I have never like played on that stadium before or anything.

But when I started playing, I got more calm, but then towards the end I got nervous again. So...

Q. You spoke about trying to turn this into a learning experience. I know it's quickly since you were on court, but can you talk about some of the things? What did you learn?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, basically like stuff like the important points. She was more consistent than me. I was making like some crazy -- I don't know what I was doing, but I was crazy.

And, like, just like I guess I should have stepped in on her serve more and stuff like that.

Q. This is your first Roland Garros experience. So are you satisfied or not these results, third round?
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly, since I did go to the third round in Australia, I was kind of hoping to go further in this tournament. But I do know that clay is not like my best surface.

And I played like one of the best players in the world. And maybe I managed to like worry her for a second there. But, yeah, in the end I'm happy.

Q. Years from now what do you want to achieve in this sport?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, this is going to be like a stereotypical, but I want to be like No. 1 and win a lot of Grand Slams and play the Olympics and Fed Cup and stuff like that.

Q. And if you could win one slam, which slam would that be?
NAOMI OSAKA: Used to be US Open, but I think Australian now (smiling).

Q. First set, second set, third set, you gave up a service break but you bounced back again and again. But third set, in the 3-4, your services, were you very nervous? You looked nervous.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I was thinking a bit too much. I should have just played during that time.

Q. (off microphone.)
NAOMI OSAKA: Like, if I had experience maybe...

Q. You never be nervous and you calm down in crucial moment?
NAOMI OSAKA: Probably, yeah. But, like, I sort of blanked out. I like stepped out of playing mode, and then I realized like I'm playing in this stadium against Halep. I should have like focused more.

Q. So grass is next. How do you feel on the grass? It seems like it could work well with your game with the serve and power and such.
NAOMI OSAKA: To be honest, like I only played two grass court tournaments last year, and the first one somehow I went to the final. Then the other one was Wimbledon.

So I haven't really played much on it to give you like that much like feedback. But everyone is saying that I should play good on it, so...

I'll just go with the flow.

Q. Now of course you seem a little bit disappointed, but this is the first time for you to play against top-10 player. That match is really close. So did you see the distance between like top 10 and the gap is narrower than you expected? Or did you feel like still it's a long ways to go?
NAOMI OSAKA: At the risk of sounding really arrogant, I kind of think that I can play with like the top-10 players, like I feel like I can play with anybody. I just have to be consistent and not freak out all the time.

I feel like I've got to have more strategy, because it can't be just this one thing all the time. I feel like I do have like the strokes and the power, though. But like, please -- I don't want to sound like I'm a mean person while I'm saying this. Yeah.

Q. Usually you are traveling with your dad, but do you keep in touch with your mom? And how does she encourage you?
NAOMI OSAKA: She calls me every day (smiling). Like every five minutes (laughter).

Yeah, I talk to her a lot. Sometimes she calls me, and I don't understand how she's awake, because it's like 2:00 in Florida and she's calling me.

Yeah, I talk to my mom a lot.

Q. You're working to learn Japanese. What about French? Do you speak any French in learning that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oui. (Laughter.)

I mean, I can kind of understand some of it, because my dad speaks French and stuff, and sometimes a gesture, so I can, like... .

Japanese is my main priority. Yeah.

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