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May 9, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Madrid, Spain

B. BENCIC/N. Osaka

3-6, 6-2, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. What happened at the end? You were serving for the match and you were a little bit negative on yourself. What do you think was the reason why you missed that game?
NAOMI OSAKA: She played really good points. I can't necessarily say it was all on me. When you play against a good player, you have to expect that they are going to play great at times, too. Of course, I feel like I was negative on myself this match, but like I kind of tried to fix it in the third set. I think my service percentage was down. She was hitting my second serve.

Q. It was the tale of three sets. A lot of push and pull and momentum shifts in each. Can you talk through the match in general? What do you think went well in the first set? What was the difference in the latter two?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, in the first set I was just really focussed and positive and then, in the second set, I just kept thinking about all the mistakes I was making and in the third set, I tried to replicate what I was doing in the first set and it was working for a bit and then, like, I started dwelling on my mistakes again.

Q. What do you take out of this week?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, all in all, I'm really happy because I wasn't sure if I could serve in the first match and I was able to and that was my biggest concern coming into it. And, of course, I wanted to play this tournament and I'm going to play Rome, too, so there's a lot of happy things to take from this because I lost in the first round last year so anything is an improvement, honestly.

Q. Just in that third set, when you talked to Jermaine and he was giving you tactics, but being, like, try and be positive and try and pull you out of that. You said, I'm trying to find that calm space. What was the struggle today in finding that zombie mode that seemed to work out pretty well for you in the previous matches?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I have no idea. I think I was just thinking about too many things. Like, I wanted to win this match so much and of course, like, I wanted to win the Australian Open and the US Open. But for me, like, I wanted to win this match more because she beat me already before and I just didn't want to lose twice in a row.

And also, like, people have been telling me like if I get to the semis here, of course I can stay No. 1. So, I wanted to do that and I was thinking about that while I was playing, which wasn't necessarily a good thing.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Japanese.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese)

NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, basically, I think in Indian Wells I was making so many unforced errors, but I felt like I couldn't control it there, like I don't know. The ball was just coming off my racquet really weird in a way that I couldn't control, so here I just wanted to play my game and play well and, like, hit angles when I can because of course she looks to move in so, basically, get her running.

Yeah, I mean, I can't necessarily do much about it. I can only get ready, but I just try to hit, like, to her body on the second serve more because I feel like she's good whilst she is stretched on the forehand side than the backhand side.

Yeah, I mean, I actually heard about it, like, in the beginning of the tournament, like before the first round. And then I was thinking about it for a while and I tell you about rankings (smiling) because I honestly would love to play the French as No. 1 because I have never played a Grand Slam seeded No. 1. And in these past few weeks there is a big difference between No. 1 and No. 2, so I feel like today, I don't know. I play the best when I'm calm and today I wasn't calm today so that is the biggest thing I can learn.

I totally blacked out, sorry. Can you do one more time?

I mean, today was different from normal because when I made the mistake, all I could think about how important the point was and how could I let myself make such a mistake. Normally, I just, like, go to the next point and try to, you know, learn from what I did wrong in the point that I missed. Today, it was a drama, so much drama in my head. I don't know what was going on. Yeah, normally, I'm like able to move on and just concentrate on the next point.

I mean, of course, my serve is one of my biggest weapons and when the first serve doesn't go in, that is always a big let-down. I think for me, since she was such a strong returner, of course I could have done better just sort of taking pace off and placing it more. But I didn't really do that, instead I tried to go for more, which wasn't necessarily the smartest thing to do, of course. And I don't know, I regret a backhand I had at 5-3, she hit, like, a short ball and I hit, like, a backhand as hard as I could into the net which was kind of ridiculous. That would have set me up for a match point. That is literally all I can think about right now.

Like running? I think I understand...

Okay. For me, I think there's not anyone that I don't want to face. Of course, there are people that are tougher to play against than others. But I don't really feel, like, I have the luxury to pick and choose, so I don't necessarily think about, you know, I would rather play this person than this person. Unless it was like the first round of a Grand Slam and no-one was seeded, of course I would think that way. No, I'm aware that, like, towards the end of the tournament you play the harder people.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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