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October 26, 2018

Naomi Osaka

Kallang, Singapore


6-3, [Ret.]

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Bad luck. Can you describe what the problem is and what made you decide you couldn't go on?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. Like I hurt my left hamstring in the first match. It was just getting worse and worse, like, every time I played. I couldn't even really practice that well today.

I don't know. Like I just really wanted to try, because this is like the last tournament, and I felt it was really unfair to, like, everyone that came to watch. So I just wanted to try and see if I can play.

Q. Were you close at all to considering whether you weren't going to go out there today? At what point did it really start to become unmanageable in the first set?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, like, there is this level of pain that I can play with, so I definitely was going to play. Like I thought I could finish the match. And then, like, 2-2 in the first -- well, there wasn't a second, but 2-2, it just got worse and worse and worse, and then I just -- literally, I couldn't move. So I started trying to hit everything, and then that wasn't working. Then I just felt like it was kind of like pointless. I was just hurting myself more than helping.

Q. Is this an injury you have ever had before?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I have never really had anything like this with my hamstring, so...

Q. Despite this injury, which is bad luck at such a big event, what kind of memories are you going to take out of your first WTA Finals?
NAOMI OSAKA: After I, like, forget about this sort of last match that didn't really complete, I mean, definitely for sure I'm very happy that I was able to play here. This is the last time it's going to be in Singapore, so definitely it's going to be a really good memory for me.

I really hope that I could have done better, but I think this year has been very eventful, so I should just be grateful for that and I guess just try my best for next year.

Q. Just can you reflect at this point at all on 2018? Secondly, is there a sense of relief at all that the season is now finally over?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, it's been a crazy year, I think. Started in Australia. Did better in a Grand Slam than I have done before.

And then, of course, Indian Wells and then did nothing until US Open basically (smiling).

And then from US Open a lot has happened, so I don't know. It feels like it went up and then it went sort of down and then in a straight line and then went up again.

For me, it's just been a lot of new experiences. I'm very grateful that, I don't know, that I was able to have the opportunities that I had. For sure, I feel like I have matured. I hope I can say that.

I'm sad I won't be able to see you guys (smiling). Yeah.

Q. You're a very good liar (laughter). But when you look back at the Naomi that maybe took the court for the first time this year back in January and the one that's sitting now, how different do you feel as a tennis player in that span of 10, 11 months?
NAOMI OSAKA: I witnessed some stuff (smiling). That's for sure.

I don't know. I feel like I'm more -- I wouldn't say "confident," but I'm more, like, I have inner peace. I don't know. Like zen. I don't really want to use words I don't know. But like I can go inside myself and be like peaceful, so I think maybe in the beginning of the year I was very uncertain with, like, what I was doing. But now I feel a bit more calm.

Q. What does the next eight or nine weeks look like? Will it be vacation? Just going back to Florida? When will you start training? And just in case you are really worried about missing us, I live right next to Chris Evert's, and I'll be happy to come over and say hello a few times for everyone.
NAOMI OSAKA: Maybe later (smiling).

I mean, I was told I shouldn't really do much. I should just rest for a few weeks. So I think that's what I'm going to do.

And of course I'm looking forward to going back home. I haven't been home since US Open. So definitely looking forward to going back.

Yeah, I feel like I'll rest. But for me, whenever I rest, the first day I'm happy I'm home because I'm just laying down and not doing anything, but then the second day I'm really bored and I start thinking I want to play again.

I have never really had a vacation. So, yeah, I guess it will be interesting to see how that goes.

Q. So you're going to hop on a plane and go back to Florida. What's the first thing that's on your mind that you want to do in your offseason that you haven't been able to do the last few months?
NAOMI OSAKA: Just see my dog. I haven't seen her in months. So I hope she remembers me (smiling).

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I was really upset that I had to stop. I don't know. Sascha was just saying that he was really proud of what I did over this year.

And I think looking back on it now, I can, like, relate to what he's saying. But at the time, like, right when I had to walk off the court, I don't know, I heard people, like, telling me that I did a good job. I don't know. Like at that time I was kind of sad.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, result-wise, definitely I would have to say it was the best season I have had.

But I don't know. For me, I'm always looking towards the future. I know that basically it didn't even finish this year yet, but I'm very excited for what 2019 could be.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, for me, I have always thought the concept of this tournament was very interesting, because it takes all the great eight players and puts them in one tournament. And it's a round-Robin format.

So, I mean, definitely every match is very difficult. I think all the matches that I have played -- well, I have only played, like, three, but the two matches that I played, they were all three sets. They were both, like, two-plus hours.

So, I mean, I think that definitely shows the quality of the players and the matches. I think that's very -- like, it's very tough, this tournament.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, for me, I just think keeping the level I had from US Open to now, I think doing that throughout the entire year is something that I really want to focus on, because I think -- I don't know. For me, I shouldn't just be doing well on hard courts. I think I should be doing well on, like, all surfaces. I think I'm capable of doing that. So definitely I want to try to focus on that next year.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, of course I would love to come back here next year. I think everyone wants to play the finals at the end of the year, so definitely that would be a goal for me.

I don't know. Like, for me, I like to think one tournament at a time. If I end up coming here, then of course I'm very happy. But I don't want to overthink too much, so...

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, for me, I just look at the person I'm going to play. I don't really think -- well, I did used to think it would be nice to get to the quarterfinals and then from there I would keep moving on.

But I sort of realized that I have to focus all my energy into each match, and then from there, you keep advancing. So, I mean, definitely I would love to think every tournament I play at I want to win, but that's not really the reality of it. Like, there is no player that wins every tournament they play.

So I don't know. I just want to play as well as I can every match.

(Comment off microphone.)

NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, that's what you were asking. Oh, my God. I go to Brisbane and Sydney and Australian Open.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: You will never know (smiling).

Yeah, definitely I think, unless he's, like, No, thank you, I pass, or something.

But, yeah, I think we get along great, so...

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