home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 3, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

N. OSAKA/A. Sevastova

3-6, 6-0, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions in English, please. First question.

Q. What was the key for you after that first set? How did you sort of reset, having not won that first set?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I think for me it was just sort of acknowledging that she was playing really good, and there was nothing that I could really do about that, except probably like rally more and wait for my chance, and I think that's what I did really well in the second set.

Q. Sascha seemed more animated when he was talking to you. Can you give us a bit of an idea about what he told you?
NAOMI OSAKA: He literally told me what I just said.

Q. So we can just paraphrase that.
NAOMI OSAKA: It was like, hey, Naomi, she's playing really good. I don't know.

Q. A lot of arm waving.
NAOMI OSAKA: He does that. He's like, whew. He basically said like not to be so worried because she's playing really well, and that I had to wait. So, yeah, basically the same thing.

Q. Do you think six months ago you would have been able to swing your game around as dramatically as that, or match around as dramatically as that?
NAOMI OSAKA: If you mean like win after losing the first set. You know my stats. (Laughs).

Q. Well, I mean that second set was you only considered five points.
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, okay.

Q. So would you have been able to do that six months ago, do you think, at this level?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, probably not. I feel like right now I'm really confident in myself, and I feel like the off season training that I've been doing is really paying off. And I'm not sure if I would have had the same feeling six months ago. Six months ago I didn't win the US Open. I was having a really bad clay season. So probably not.

Q. Towards the end she started to elevate her game a little bit as you had the break up. But those last two service games, what were you kind of telling yourself because it felt like a big moment especially the second to last service game when you were a break down?
NAOMI OSAKA: Do you really want to know?

Q. Uh-huh.
NAOMI OSAKA: I was saying, please hit an ace. Please hit an ace. (Laughs). And, yeah, I was getting really tense towards the end because I felt like I could see the finish line. And I felt like she was playing more relaxed. So, yeah, I really was just thinking, please hit an ace. And then when that didn't happen, I was just trying to like do the same thing that got me to winning those games in the first place.

Q. How important is this win for you? Sevastova beat you twice last year.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. I mean, for me I just really wanted to play this match knowing that I would have long rallies and knowing that she would be hitting tricky shots. So for me, this match was really important because I think that I can handle power players pretty well. But for me it was always harder to hit against people like her, because I don't really know what's coming next. So I think that this match was a good confidence booster.

Q. Sort of a little bit of what John was asking you about the process and six months ago maybe not necessarily winning a match like that, do you feel that whole process, and I think we've watched you and admired the way that you've grown as a player, but do you feel that out on the court that maybe in a situation where you used to panic or feel like, oh, shoot, I'm not going to turn things around here, that you're now able to do that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. I mean, I think for me I felt pretty calm the entire match, except for like, you know, the end of the first set. Nobody saw that. But yeah, I mean, I think maybe a few months ago I wouldn't have been able to be that calm. I think that that comes with experience, though, because I sort of know what could potentially come next. So I'm not that scared or threatened. Yeah. You guys are so serious today. (Laughs).

Q. Just doing our jobs. But you've now made the semis or better at four of your last five events. I'm wondering if that streak from the US Open through, you know, even Singapore, did that carry over at all into 2019 or is this for you mentally you turn the page and it's brand new? I mean do you take that with you, or any of it with you?
NAOMI OSAKA: New year, new me. No, I mean, of course I would want -- like I think I had a pretty good Asian swing and the US Open, too. But for me I don't really want to burden myself with thinking about carrying that on. Of course, that would be ideal, but for me, I feel like I've always played well in Australia anyways. So I'm just trying to take that fun feeling. And I haven't been to Brisbane since I lost like three years ago, so I'm just trying to take it as a new experience.

Q. Heading into the tournaments now knowing you're one of the favorites, not just here, but in Melbourne in two weeks' time you'll be one of the favorites going in. Do you feel any of the pressure going into the tournaments?
NAOMI OSAKA: Would I still be a favorite if I played an Australian? Don't lie.

Q. You'd be favored before the tournament as one of the people who is going to win.
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, oh. Okay. That's new. Oooh. I'm not really sure how to answer that question, because, truthfully, the US Open is the first Grand Slam I played where I made like the quarterfinals or higher. So for me I feel like it's awesome, I think, that you guys pick me as a favorite. I don't know. There's so many other players. But for me, my main goal is to show consistency, and I'm really happy with this tournament so far, because you said that I went to semis or higher in the last four. So I think that's something that I'm going to keep trying to do. And, yeah, I mean I love Australia, so hopefully I do well there.

Q. Up next, Kontaveit or Tsurenko, I believe. So can you talk through the potential matchups there?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I mean, I've played both of them at least twice now. And I know that they're both really amazing players, and I played Tsurenko in the US Open, and I played Kontaveit in Dubai last. And both of those matches were pretty difficult. So, I mean, they both can play like really amazing and beat the top players. So I feel like I just have to concentrate on my own game, and hopefully I'll do well. Do you have anything interesting to ask? I'm sorry. This is so -- (laughs).

THE MODERATOR: We do have time for one fan question from future stars. So does anybody have a question?

Q. Can you tell us like what your post-match recovery?
NAOMI OSAKA: Come on. That's the question? (Laughs).

Q. An example of Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, no. I'm going to answer your question. Wait. Post-match recovery you said?

Q. Yeah. Like what do you do like here and maybe later?
NAOMI OSAKA: After the match I run 10 miles and I do 100 situps. (Laughs). No. I mean, like it depends how tired I am, but I either run for like 10 minutes slowly or like ride the bike. And then like stretch, of course, and that's basically it. Probably no different from you.

Q. Are you a cat person or a dog person?
NAOMI OSAKA: You know I'm a dog person. (Laughs). Was this a bet or something? Are you guys having a debate?

Q. No.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297