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October 1, 2018

Naomi Osaka

Beijing, China

N. OSAKA/Z. Diyas

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about how you played today?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I mean, I felt like today was pretty rough. I know that I didn't play that well, but I really wanted to win. I felt that she probably didn't play at her best, too. I think we were both just trying to struggle with how to, like, manage the situation.

Q. Being the second Asian winning a Grand Slam, do you feel when you come to the Asian season the audience makes things easier for you? Do you feel more relieved coming out to the court?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, for me the Asian swing is always special. For me it starts with Tokyo. Well, to be fair, I'm kind of relatively new still.

Yeah, I mean, I've played Beijing three times. This is my third time. I am really excited whenever I come here. I haven't really done that well the past two times, but I'm hoping this year I'll do better.

Q. You said you've been here before obviously. You now come here as a Grand Slam champion. Describe how that is different for you now.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I mean, for me, I don't feel that different. I try not to put that burden on myself. I know when I play matches now, people want to beat me. I mean, I felt that way since Indian Wells. I think that helped me a lot, to win the US Open.

But a lot of people ask me the same question as you. But I don't know. For me, I just feel like I play every match one point at a time. I try not to put too much pressure on myself.

Q. In the second set you appeared to get a little frustrated. What about your game play frustrated you? What do you think you changed that led you to winning the set?
NAOMI OSAKA: What made you think I was frustrated (smiling)?

Hmm. I mean, I feel like overall, like even during practices, I still haven't hit the ball cleanly, like I want to. That was a concern going into the match.

Then I felt like I didn't serve well today at all. I think my first-serve percentage was probably ridiculously low. I didn't check it yet, but for sure that's one thing that I want to fix going onto my next match.

Yeah, I mean, I feel like playing against her, I've played her before in French Open, and it was a really tough match. I think, I don't know, like I needed to find a way to win, even if it was playing ugly or not.

Q. I think in early August you posted something on Instagram saying you were struggling a little bit after expectations from Indian Wells. Then you had the US Open win, did well in Tokyo. You seem to be composed. How do you explain your ability to go in after the US Open and not suffer that kind of thing from a mental perspective? Why do you think it's working now?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, for sure the experience helped me. I've done this before. Well, not won a Grand Slam, but win a big tournament, then like after.

I think, I don't know, I was lucky that Tokyo was so close because I could immediately, like, focus on the next tournament. I didn't think too much about what was going on, like the press or whatever. So maybe if I did have that time, I would be overwhelmed.

For me, I'm really focused on playing the Asian swing. Yeah, for me the biggest goal right now is trying to get into Singapore.

Q. Obviously with Tokyo coming so quickly, getting back into the tennis side of things, but the week after Tokyo, did you get a chance to think a little bit about what had happened over the last three weeks? Was it mostly family time? How was that week spent? Did you feel like it recharged your batteries at all?
NAOMI OSAKA: I have so much tea right now, but I'm not going to spill it (laughter).

There's a lot of stuff I want to say about, like, how I felt and whatever. But for me, I don't know, I don't know. The memory of the US Open is a little bit bittersweet. Like right after, the day after, I really didn't want to think about it because it wasn't necessarily the happiest memory for me. I don't know. Like, I just sort of wanted to move on at that point.

Q. There are quite a few Grand Slam champions that struggle after they did it. Serena is so dominant, the others don't have a chance to prepare for everything coming with the title. Do you agree with that or you don't think about it, just do your thing?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, you're the first person that even told me that. I don't know. I don't think that way. For me, like, I think life is more than one tournament. Tennis players are lucky enough to have a lot of tournaments. It's not like the Olympics, it's not once every four years. A Grand Slam, there's four in one year. There's always next time.

I think I try not to focus too much on the past. I try to go into the future or the present. So, yeah, just my mind right now is on this tournament.

Q. With Sabalenka winning Wuhan last week, there are four players aged under 21 in the top 20 right now, including you. Do you think we're gradually witnessing a new era of women's tennis? Does this give you peer pressure or motivation?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I don't know. You would be the one that tells me. I feel like I'm in it. If it's someone that's watching from the outside, I think they would be able to tell.

Yeah, for me personally, I think everyone is super great around my age. I remember when Ostapenko won the French Open, I thought it was super amazing. I couldn't comprehend how she did it. I thought the mental strength that you have to have to do that is amazing.

And, yeah, I am, Kasatkina, Belinda, Sabalenka and everybody, they are all really great. I think when I see them doing well and winning matches, I want to do well, too.

Q. You said the days after you won the US Open weren't the happiest ever. But now when you think about the fact that you've won your first Grand Slam title, is the joy taking over the bittersweet feeling?
NAOMI OSAKA: Have you ever eaten green tea ice cream (smiling)? This is a serious question.

Q. I did.
NAOMI OSAKA: When you bite into it, it's, like, sweet but also very strong. Like, that's how that memory feels to me.

I mean, of course I'm happy that I won a Grand Slam. I don't think there's anything that can take away from that. But I don't know. I feel like not that when I look back on it that it's a bad memory, but I feel like it was so strange, I didn't just want to think about it. I wanted to just push it to the side. Then I played Tokyo. For me, Tokyo was a way to take my mind off of it. I think that's why I did well.

I'm still trying to take may mind off of it a little bit. I guess hopefully I can do well here, too.

Q. Have you been thinking about what you want to do when you get some time off, anywhere you want to go, anything you want to see?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, no, I haven't really been thinking about the off-season. I'm just thinking about Singapore. So I guess I want to go there.

No, for me, I don't really take vacation. Like, I just stay at home and regret that I stay at home (smiling). Yeah, that's kind of what I do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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