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May 16, 2018

Naomi Osaka

Rome, Italy

S. HALEP/N. Osaka

6-1, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The first game was very close. You had opportunities to break, and then what happened?
NAOMI OSAKA: What, her first service game or ...

Q. Yeah. I think you had four break points.
NAOMI OSAKA: I'm not really sure. Like if I knew, I would have fixed it. But I think just, for some reason, I couldn't get a ball in the court after that, I felt, on my backhand side.

And she was playing very solid. And I knew she knew I couldn't hit a backhand, so we were just having backhand rallies.

But, yeah, other than that, I can't really say that there was something that specific that happened.

Q. Why do you think this match was so different than the one you had in Indian Wells? I understand, obviously, different conditions and surface. But mentally, did you feel any different?
NAOMI OSAKA: Not really. I started the match pretty okay.

I mean, I feel like I've played her the most out of any player. Like literally, this is the third time I played her this year.

So my mentality wasn't changed. I just felt like my racquet - - or like I wasn't doing what I thought I was supposed to do. And like to get the ball in the court, maybe I wasn't doing certain things.

But mentally, I'm fine, so ...

Q. How do you feel ahead of the French? Are you playing another tournament or no? And how do you feel, overall, about your preparation?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I feel like it could have gone better, these two tournaments.

But, I'm happy with the way that I played my first match. And then just, hopefully, I can keep that sort of mentality going.

I'm not that disappointed with this match, actually. Despite the score. I feel like she's the No. 1 player in the world and she's great on clay. And I think it was harder than what the score showed.

So, I think for sure there were certain points that really, like, I could have done better on that would have decided the match more. So, I just feel like I have to work on those points. And then just, um, yeah, I think I'll do better.

Q. Did you think Simona was stronger today than in America and last year at Roland Garros?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I didn't play her in Roland Garros last year, so I don't know the answer to that.

But, I think by now we've played so many times that she has a really solid game plan against me. And I do, too.

But, also, this is like only the second time we've played on a clay court. So, of course, she definitely has more experience on a clay court than me. And it's easier for her to get balls back. And for me, I feel like I have to be more aggressive. And I'll make more mistakes. And that's just something I have to accept.

Q. When Sascha came to the court and was trying to pump you up, I think I heard you say, I wanna cry. Is that just something you just said that or did you mean it?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. 'Cause he was asking me, like, what do I think I should do, or something like that. And then he was like --

I didn't say, I wanna cry. I said --

Maybe I did. Actually, maybe I did.

Um, no. Because it's just like one of the most helpless feelings. Like I know I should be making these balls; but for some reason they're not going in, and I don't really know what I should be doing at this point.

Because I'm legit playing the No. 1 player in the world.

And the balls that I practice, like I practice every day, they go in. And today it doesn't go in. It's just like one of those moments, like, you're a little bit depressed, and stuff.

But I think this is the first match of the year that I've felt like this. So, last year, it's literally been a roller coaster. So this year I feel it's been more stable. So I'm really proud of myself for that.

Q. You talked about practicing things every day. The backhand volley is a very difficult shot for anybody to hit.
NAOMI OSAKA: Thank you.

Q. I wondered your approach to that. Is your team wanting you to hit more with one hand, more with one touch? Where do you feel you're at, and how do you improve that aspect of your game?
NAOMI OSAKA: Are you telling me that my backhand volleys aren't very good?

Q. You have an amazing game all-around but --
NAOMI OSAKA: You're sugar-coating what you just asked me.

Q. I know, but opponents do target that.

The thing is, like, I -- hmm, I wouldn't say that I always make them. But, for sure, like, I don't miss two of them in a row like that. For me, that was very strange, especially since I was so close to the net. I think I just pushed it.

But I get what you're saying with the one-handed, because normally people have more touch like that. Sometimes I do get one-handed volleys.

But I wanted to finish the point so bad, especially since she's a good mover. So I felt like I have to do more than I should. So, if that explains.

Q. You feel you could be more aggressive hitting --
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, with the two, because I would feel like I have more time, instead of some people with touch opposed to power, so ...

Q. You talk about this match you had a plan and, at a certain point, the plan was not really working and you got, you said, depressed. And maybe from that point on the game went one direction until the end. Do you think maybe clay courts ask you to think of a backup plan, a "B" plan maybe, more than other surfaces? And are you working on it or just trying to stay on the plan?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. I feel like that would be the same for any match, like any court. I don't think it really matters if it's clay court or not.

Usually, there's like two types of people. One that would keep doing the same thing, no matter what. And it'll eventually work or it doesn't. But, they'll be happy that they stuck to that way.

And then there's another group of people that they'll change what they're doing depending on what's working that day or not. And right now, I'm trying to figure out what type of person I am.

'Cause some days I'll change what I'm doing and it'll work. But then, other days I'll just, like, blast the ball and not really change if it goes in or out.

So, I think it just depends on what type of player you are. I think clay court, maybe since the rallies are longer, you assume that people will change what they're doing. But, I don't really think that way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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