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May 23, 2016

Naomi Osaka

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Would you please analyze this match? You were really strong in a big tournament.
NAOMI OSAKA: Okay. Thank you. (Smiling.) I don't know. She's a really good player and I knew that going into the match.

I also knew that people probably wouldn't expect me to win out of both of us, so I didn't really have that much pressure.

Plus it was my first time playing this tournament, so I was just trying to relax and have fun.

Q. What's your general feeling towards red clay? Wouldn't think it's your favorite necessarily, but you won at the French Open. How are you feeling about the surface right now?
NAOMI OSAKA: Um, (laughter) this match definitely puts like a little bit of heart (makes heart with fingers) but like this whole season I wasn't doing that well.

But, I mean, the major tournaments are on clay, so I have to get used to it.

Q. I haven't seen you since Australia. Just wondering how your progress has been and how making that run there to the third round and getting some attention there, how that affected you going forward and if life has been different since then.
NAOMI OSAKA: I was going to make a joke, but, okay, never mind. (Laughter.) No, nobody would get it.

Anyway, I mean, I kind of like that people may be paying more attention to me. So, I mean, the run-in Australia helped me a little bit with my confidence; then I did like well a little bit in Miami, too.

So carrying that on to the clay season was good for me.

Q. How would you describe your relationship with clay? When you step on clay are you frustrated? Challenged? How do you see it?
NAOMI OSAKA: A welcome challenge, because, I mean, I can't like complain about it the whole time I'm playing, you know? I just have to adjust to it and then focus on the way I have to play from then.

Q. Before you came to the red clay, in Miami you said maybe you are okay with red clay because you are used to the green clay in the U.S., Florida. So when you first time step on the red clay, did you feel differences or did you feel a little bit uncomfortable because it's different from clay court in the U.S.?
NAOMI OSAKA: I was like, Oh, my God. No, because like last year I didn't really play red clay. Like I didn't play any clay, I think, so technically this year is my first time on red clay.

Oh, God. (Smiling.) I don't know what I was thinking because it's completely different.

Q. (Off microphone.)
NAOMI OSAKA: It's kind of slow, and then I'm just like, Oh, hard court, please. (Smiling.)

But, I mean, I have to adjust, so I can't complain about it all the time.

Q. You mentioned you're getting more attention. What's it like for you to come here in Paris and get into this packed room?
NAOMI OSAKA: I like doing interviews. That's sort of my thing. I don't know if you guys are laughing just to make me happy, but thank you. (Laughter.) Yeah, I like this kind of stuff. (Nodding.)

Q. (Question regarding knee.)
NAOMI OSAKA: You mean like my knee thing?

Q. Yes. Which knee?
NAOMI OSAKA: Left. I strained it.

Q. Is it okay?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. Thank you.

Q. Why you really good in big tournament? Sometimes you lose in the qualify, but you really good in the big tournament like Miami or Australia.
NAOMI OSAKA: That qualifying thing was hurtful. No, I'm sorry. I don't know. It means more so I think maybe I focus more. But I've only technically played two main draws of Grand Slams.

I don't know. Maybe it's because I've grown up watching these tournaments and I kind of want to do better here, so...

Q. Big hitting players, powerful players, can succeed on clay. We saw Madison make the Rome final. Does seeing that, Madison or Petra winning big titles or getting close, does that make you think that maybe this surface might not be so bad for you?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I don't have like a hateful relationship with clay. I used to think -- okay, here we go. I used to think I was the queen of grinding and then I was like, Oh, now I have to hit.

Like Serena just will, you know -- okay. (Smiling.) People that hit powerful do well on clay. They do well on any surface. I mean, if I just stick to my game and focus on what matters... (Nodding.) I'm sorry.

Q. Why are you apologizing?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't know.

Q. Could you look back at the second set, six, seven, eight games; it's up and down. She break back and you break and she again break back, and maybe you dominated on the rally but sometimes you missed; you made unforced errors sometimes. How did you feel? How do you recover?
NAOMI OSAKA: (Smiling.) Um, you guys may kill me for saying this, but I felt extremely (in Japanese). (Laughter.) I'm sorry.

Yeah, but like I would try to end the point really fast for no reason, and I felt like a bit of pressure coming from her on the backhand side.

Yeah. (Pouting.)

Q. Once again about the red clay, you said you needed some adjustment to the red clay. Could you talk a little bit about what kind of adjustment you did? Jelena Ostapenko is the same age to you, so have you ever played her when you guys are in juniors? Do you see her as like a rival or something? She already get in top 40. She get seeded in this tournament. What is your feeling of seeing this kind of your same age to make this huge progress?
NAOMI OSAKA: What was the first part of the question?

Q. I just meant to red clay.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I went to Portugal for two weeks to train on red clay, so, yeah, I guess that helped a little bit.

Then the second part is: I mean, there is like Bencic and Konjuh and Ostapenko. I think. They're all really good and I kind of like -- they're all ranked higher than me and I kind of like see us all as the '97 group. They're kind of doing better than me right now, but I don't know. I am trying to do my own thing and I'm sure they're trying to do their own thing. We're all going for different goals that are kind of the same because everyone wants to be No. 1 and stuff.

Yeah. I mean, I don't have any like -- nothing but love. Like no negative feelings or anything towards anybody.

Q. Does it give you some motivation?
NAOMI OSAKA: Where did that come from?

Yeah, because like when I see people doing good that makes me want to do good, too.

Q. Obviously the weather has not been very cooperative so far. What do you do when it's raining and you don't know when you'll get on the court? Anything specific you do to stay in match mode?
NAOMI OSAKA: I like it when it rains. I'm like, Yay, it's raining. I don't know why. I think it's a Florida thing. It's always sunny, and then when it's raining it's like, Yeah.

So, yeah, I mean, I just listen to music and stuff. Not really anything specific.

Q. Last year you could not play qualify round here, but this year you got first win main draw. Are you surprised your situation change a lot?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I'm kind of hard on myself all the time, so I always try to push myself to do better. So not negatively, but like last year I kind of hoped I would've been in a better situation this year.

I mean, I'm happy for myself, but I'm not really surprised, if that makes sense.

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