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December 30, 2018

Naomi Osaka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

MODERATOR: First question for Naomi.

Q. Naomi, do you feel as though you've had enough time to recharge the batteries and everything heading into the 2019 season?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, yes and no. But, yeah, I feel good. I see your beautiful face again. (Laughs).

Yeah, I mean, I feel like the off season for me has been very long, and personally I really love playing tournaments, and especially Australia. So I'm really happy to be back.

Q. Is it hard to come in here with a Grand Slam, as a reigning Grand Slam champion? Is it elevated pressure to perform?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, you tell me because I've never been in this position before. And, frankly, I'm not really thinking about Australian Open. I'm sort of thinking about this tournament right now. But I guess when the time comes and I finish my first match I'll have my answer for you.

Q. After Singapore you had some time off, but when you started to get back into the swing of things and talked to Sascha and your team and everything and your family and everything, what were the main things you went into the off season wanting to work on and focus on?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, one of the biggest things I wanted to do was like work on my fitness, because I feel like when I'm fit, I can play longer matches and longer rallies, and for me that's very important, because I wouldn't want to like just consistently either make a winner or make unforced errors.

Q. When you look at the caliber of field here, is it an ideal sort of stepping stone toward the Australian Open?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean everyone that's playing this tournament is really good. And I do think it's a really high-level tournament, and I feel like that's a really good thing, because when you play Grand Slams, the farther in you go, the more seeded players you play. So I think it's definitely a really good tournament to start the year.

Q. When you're 18 years old and you played here the last time, what were your memories of that qualifying campaign and kind of how interesting is it that now that you've returned here you're the No. 2 seed?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean I remember I lost in the last round of qualis so Bondarenko. And I remember being really sad about it, because I think it was a third-set match, or like really close. Yeah, and then I flew to Hobart after that, and then people told me that if I stayed and signed in as an alternate, I would have gotten in the main draw, like with a bye. Yeah. And I was sad the rest of the time. But yeah, my memories here are really good. I really love Australia, and I think that since this is my second time here, I've tried to like venture out more. So I'm hoping that I get to explore the city.

Q. How do you look back now on the US Open? Obviously there was a controversy there with the final, but do you reflect on that fondly now with time to reflect?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean I've kind of had to because you guys always ask me. But, yeah, I mean definitely, I feel like it's something that I'll always remember, I think. And, of course, other people will remember, too, so I feel like I have had time to think about it and stuff, but also I'm like I think that the fact that I'm always like training and stuff, I don't really think it's too important to me, because I'm like always constantly thinking ahead.

Q. What's the most important thing that you did for yourself during the off season?
NAOMI OSAKA: I guess do something with my sister. For me like spending time with her is like some of the most fun times that I can experience, so like whenever she's home and I'm home. But for me that's like the most precious.

Q. Did you get to have condensed family time? I don't know if you were in Florida or Japan or wherever you were, but did you get to have that condensed time with her?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. I had to go to Tokyo for a week for business stuff, and she came, too, so I was really grateful for that.

Can I ask you a question? People tell me when I talk I don't move my mouth.

Q. You do.
NAOMI OSAKA: Do I? Because I'm really conscious, so like now I'm trying to like exaggerate.

Q. You do you. Don't worry about it.
NAOMI OSAKA: Because they're like, oh, you could be a ventriloquist or whatever.

Q. It's not that extreme.

Q. It's not that extreme. Don't worry.
NAOMI OSAKA: But you can hear the words that are coming out; right?

Q. Crystal clear.
NAOMI OSAKA: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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