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March 18, 2018

Naomi Osaka

Indian Wells, California

N. OSAKA/D. Kasatkina

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did that feel like a "God's plan, me moment" out there or would you describe it some other way?
NAOMI OSAKA: Okay, here we go. I think towards the end, I didn't know that I won the match point. So then I was sort of, like, Caveman SpongeBob.

But I don't know. I don't really know what's going on right now (smiling). I really feel like I have another match I have to play tomorrow, and it didn't really sink in that I won.

So, yeah, I'm just trying to, like, "Woohoo" (pointing to trophy). I'm happy.

Q. You looked quite calm out there. Can you tell us how you were feeling on the inside and how you managed to stay composed through the match and win it that way?
NAOMI OSAKA: I was extremely stressed and extremely nervous. But my plan was to, like, fake that I'm very calm. So I'm glad that you said that, so that means it worked.

Yeah, and I just knew that she was going to fight for every point, too. So I couldn't afford to lose points based on nerves, and I had to keep making the right decisions.

Q. How different did you feel walking out there for this final compared to Tokyo?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I felt it's a bigger court here, and also I think the occasion is a bit bigger.

But in this match, I really wanted to win this, but also I just tried to think it was a first-round match and just not psych myself out too much.

Q. Were you more nervous for this match?

Q. First game she used a lot of slices and topspins and mixed different shots, and you looked a little bit struggling with dealing with her slices. Can you talk a little bit about that feeling of hitting her balls?
NAOMI OSAKA: I wasn't struggling on the slices or anything. It was hard for me to get my nerves in check in the first game, especially since -- I don't know why I decided to serve first. But, yeah, like, I had to hold immediately.

But as for the slices and stuff, I was thinking she was going to do more, so that wasn't that big of a deal for me.

Q. You joked that it was the worst acceptance speech of all time. None of us could stand in the middle of a stadium and give a speech. How does it feel after that big of a win, all the emotions, and having to give a speech?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, the thing is I prepared and everything, and I knew what I was going to say in which order. But then when he called me, I freaked out. And then I just started saying whatever came into my mind first, which is why I think I kept, like, stopping halfway through my sentences, because I just remembered something else I had to say.

So, yeah, that was pretty embarrassing.

Q. Winning becomes a habit, but to get there, there are other things that you have to do along the way. Your own day-to-day habits become more consistent. What would you say those are that are working for you?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I mean, I'm a little bit superstitious, which is weird, because today -- okay. Usually in the morning I eat the same breakfast, like, every time. But then today they brought me sourdough toast instead of wheat. I freaked out a little bit, but I still ate it. And then I was thinking, if I lose this match because of the sourdough toast, I'm going to be really upset (smiling).

But, yeah, I mean, I'm not that -- like, I'm not really that sure on, like, the habits that people have. But I just think people that win more are more confident, and that's why they're more likely to win again.

Q. You said at the beginning you were quite nervous. At which game or any point did you feel, like, Okay, I can play as usual?
NAOMI OSAKA: 4-1 in the second set.

Q. Second set? Oh, okay.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. I mean, because she -- we were playing some long points. And I wasn't really trying to hit hard today, because I felt like it would be better for her to take my pace. So I wanted her to do whatever she wanted to do, and I was just going to sit back and, like, see what she does.

Yeah, I wasn't -- I feel like I wasn't that aggressive today. I was just more consistent.

Q. Why do you think you're getting such improved results this year and particularly here? And why do you think you're closing out matches so well?
NAOMI OSAKA: Just concentration. I feel like I have made it my goal to be more focused every match this year, so I think it's paid off.

Q. Unfortunately all the matches you had here were not broadcasted in Japan, so could you give some message to Japanese fans?
NAOMI OSAKA: I can't really say thanks for cheering me on if it wasn't broadcasted, but (speaking Japanese).

I can't really say anything else. I won. Yay, cool. (Speaking Japanese.)

Q. Dasha said you and she will be sharing a private jet to Miami. Curious how that came about and what you're looking forward to maybe about that experience, getting to be in a private jet?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, we just needed to get out of here, so that's basically how that happened. I don't know. I have never been on one, so that's going to be fun for me.

Yeah, I'm going to try not to listen to music, so I'm going to see if she's going to talk to me, because -- I'm going to see how that works out (smiling).

But it's not like you can talk to anyone in an airplane, anyway. So that's -- yeah. I don't know where I went with that.

Q. Do you have a certain conversation you'd like to have with her?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. I don't know how to start conversations. I don't know what you're supposed to say to someone that you've not really talked to before. So it's not like I have a certain conversation. I just think it would be cool to talk to her. I'm so weird. It's so bad. Oh, my God. Okay.

Q. What kind of advice your coach gave you between the sets?
NAOMI OSAKA: Sorry. I'm thinking.

He said -- okay. Because I asked him if I should hit harder, because I felt I wasn't really putting that much pace on the ball. And he was basically telling me that it's all right to keep doing what I'm already doing.

Q. In the past, many players, many winners over this tournament had a tough time to lift up this trophy. Is this heavy or how do you feel about that trophy?
NAOMI OSAKA: I didn't try yet.

Q. Oh, you didn't try yet?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, they just kept telling me that it was heavy, so I didn't pick it up.

Q. How do you like this trophy?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think it's cool (smiling). Yeah.

I haven't actually seen the front of it, but -- yeah, it's pretty.

Q. You said that you were working on your focus and concentration. Can you just say how you did that? What sort of things you do to address that?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't really know how I did it. I feel like it's taken me my whole life, like, a good three years, at least.

I wouldn't say it's necessarily something you can tell other people how to do, because there are certain points you miss and you want to get angry. Like, you could either lose to the anger or you can just move on. I feel like it's sort of a process that people need to, like, go through to understand it.

Q. Did you call to your mom after this match?
NAOMI OSAKA: I called my sister, and my mom was there. I don't directly call my mom. Well, I'm going to directly call her after this.

Yeah, I mean, she was happy. Yes.

Q. I'm curious -- the difference between you and Dasha is your cell phone is not on the table. There is such a thing as technology addiction and causing the mind to be distracted and less focused. Does Sascha talk to you at all about that and limiting your time for social media and things like that?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. My phone is right there, though.

Q. All right. Just not on the table?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I don't -- I really doubt that Dasha uses her phone more than me. Because I just listen to music all the time, and most of the time you see me I would have my phone, like, iTunes in my phone.

And I don't think she has a problem with concentrating.

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