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September 28, 2018

Naomi Osaka

Beijing, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You made some deep runs in tournaments lately. How are you feeling physically, mentally now that you're getting further into your season?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I mean, for sure definitely these past few weeks have been really long, I guess, for me. And, yeah, I'm just really trying to get used to going deeper in tournaments.

I think I don't know. For me, right after the US Open I played Tokyo. In a way I'm sort of grateful that I played it because I could go straight into, like, tournament mode. Of course, I got sick after that. I had to rest.

I think it's been really fun.

Q. You mentioned playing Tokyo. After such a big Grand Slam victory, what was it like being back in the country of your birth?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, it was definitely something (smiling). Like, everyone is really, really excited. I felt like I just wanted to do well, give them something to cheer about. I'm just really happy I made it to the finals. Of course, I couldn't win, but she played super amazing and she deserved to win.

Q. Would you like to share a song with us in the China Open?
NAOMI OSAKA: A song? Let's not do that (laughter).

Q. You've made a lot of accomplishments and strides in your career. How does it feel to be as accomplished as you are at your age?
NAOMI OSAKA: I'm not really too sure, to be honest. I'm the type of person that I don't really stop to think about what I've done. I just want to keep doing things. I want to keep pushing myself, especially when I see, like, other people my age doing really great.

I don't know. Like, maybe at the end of this year I'll think about what I've done. But for me right now, I'm focused on this tournament. I know that all the best players in the world are here, so definitely, I don't know, when I'm around a tournament, I feel like I just focus on winning.

Q. It's great to see another champion come from this region to win a Grand Slam title. Is there a message you have for younger people?
NAOMI OSAKA: How young are we talking about? If it's, like, people my age, then actually just people in general, don't look up to me. I am not the person. I'm really grateful if they do look up to me, but I know that for me, I've been really inspired by a lot of people growing up to play tennis. If I even have that chance to be a role model to other people, I'm definitely really grateful.

Yeah, for me, I love Serena, Federer and Li Na. I think just the fact that she was like the first Asian Grand Slam champion, like from China and stuff. For me to be the first Japanese now, I think it's really cool people can aspire.

Sorry, my answer was sort of all over the place.

Q. Some say you're becoming a symbol even outside of the tennis court because of your history, your image. Are you scared of that?
NAOMI OSAKA: I'm always scared, doesn't matter (smiling).

No, it kind of depends on what you mean, I guess. For me, growing up, tennis is all I've done, so I don't really know too much life outside of tennis. But, yeah, I feel like your question sort of is the same as this fine gentleman over here. It sort of ties in with each other.

If I am a symbol or if I can be an inspiration, definitely it's something that I think it's not negative, so I definitely want to take it in a positive way.

Q. How much of a goal was it for you at the start of this year to possibly qualify for Singapore? If you were thinking about that, now that you're third in the race, how much of an achievement or how excited are you to likely make the field at that event you've never played before?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think for me, at the start of the year, it wasn't really on my mind. I just wanted to win a tournament and get to the quarters of a Grand Slam. After I won Indian Wells, I saw I was on, like, the board, I could possibly make it. I was really excited for that.

We know how my grass and my clay court season went, so it sort of slipped my mind again. Yeah, then after I won the US Open, like, I saw that I was really close, and definitely I would want to go. I won the Rising Stars event there before. It definitely holds a lot of special memories.

I think if I could go, then I would definitely be very honored.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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