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August 28, 2018

Naomi Osaka

New York, NY, USA

N. OSAKA/Y. Wang

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A good start of the US Open campaign. Can you just talk about the match and how you feel about the way you played today.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I think the match, obviously I won (smiling). But, I mean, I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I didn't play as well as I wanted to. But I'm really happy with how I fought. I didn't let her sort of -- like, towards the end of the first set, I think I dropped two games in a row, and I managed to stop her from coming back.

So I think just fighting and trying to find a way to win, even though, like, the situation wasn't really that great. I think that's the best thing I take from this match.

Q. You come in ranked 20th seed, you come in 20th. Are you starting to feel that expectations are growing, rising for you to really go far in the Grand Slam tournaments? Do you embrace that, or do you feel pressure from that?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I feel like I had this whole thing right after Indian Wells. Like, French Open, I know it's not really my surface, so Wimbledon, I did feel a little bit of that, and then the hard court tournaments leading up to here.

But I feel like now I'm over it, and I sort of went back into my old mindset that I have been at during the beginning of the year. So I don't really feel pressure or anything.

I think if anything, it would come from inside, so, like, internal pressure, but nothing really from the outside.

Q. Last year when you were here you were so disappointed after that match you played, and here you managed to win again. Does it feel relief to kind of come back to a place where you might have had a disappointing result and get that out of the way right away with a first-round win?
NAOMI OSAKA: It's funny you say that, because I have had disappointing results, like, two years in a row here.

So, I mean, I don't really think about it like that. For me, if I have a bad match, I try to fix it in the next tournament. So my last match here hasn't really been on my mind. I just try to focus on the current match.

Q. You did beat Kerber here last year and Indian Wells, obviously, a huge tournament. Did that tell you that, hey, you can win against the best players in the world, and one day you will win a slam? Is that what you're focused on?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I have sort of already accepted the fact that I probably play better during the big stages. I think that's just something that I grew up watching, like, people on the bigger stages. And I have always wanted to play on Arthur Ashe and stuff, so when the chance comes, of course I'm going to play my best.

Regarding the Grand Slams, I think it would be really sad if I kept playing for years and my biggest goal was to get to the quarters of a slam. I think everyone plays slams to win, especially the younger players now. Like Ostapenko won French Open. So I think, of course, everyone knows that there is a chance that you can win a Grand Slam.

Q. Do you feel like a Floridian? You have been there for so many years.
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, of course, like with this heat, everyone was complaining about it. So I thought it was pretty decent, like, Florida summers are way worse, I think. Yeah, I mean, I'm really glad that I was training in Florida before this.

Q. Where is it you live?
NAOMI OSAKA: I live in Boca.

Q. When it is going to be this hot, is there anything you do differently before a match knowing that it's coming?
NAOMI OSAKA: Not really differently. I feel like I drink more water, though. And I probably put more, like, sweat bands in my bag. But other than that...

Q. How's it been working with Sascha? We know he's worked with Serena and some of the greatest players in the game. How has he helped your game?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, he's helped me a lot. It's mostly been with, like, myself. Like, I fight myself a lot, so he's sort of been, like, the peacemaker in between.

And, yeah, I feel like he's a really positive person, and he sort of tells me not to be so hard on myself. So I'm grateful for him for that.

Q. Who was calling you?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't know. Unknown number or something.

Q. (Question regarding short or long points.)
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I wasn't really trying to keep points short. I was just more, like, if she hit a short ball, I was just thinking I was going to step in, because she's a really good mover. And I wouldn't want her to feel comfortable, just like lobbing balls in and stuff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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