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May 17, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Rome, Italy

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is it a problem with your hand? What is the injury?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, well, I kind of woke up this morning and I couldn't really move my thumb. Like, I tried to practice and, like, grip my racquet, but I couldn't. Then I just kept feeling this pain every time I tried to move my hand in different directions.

Yeah, like right now I'm really not mad but I'm kind of in between sad and disappointed because I really wanted to play my match today. For me, it was sort of like a test to play against Kiki because she's, like, playing really well. I wanted to see how well I could do today.

Yeah, right now I'm feeling kind of sad.

Q. Was there any moment yesterday in the match or during practice that you felt any sort of pain, anything?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I didn't feel anything yesterday. That's why I'm kind of confused right now because I literally woke up in the morning and I couldn't move my thumb. Then I was, like, maybe I slept on it and maybe it will go away. But it didn't, so...

Q. Are you worried for Roland Garros or have you been told it will go away in a few days?
NAOMI OSAKA: I haven't seen the doctor yet. I've seen the physio. I'm supposed to go to the doctor after I talk to you guys. You guys have first priority (smiling).

Q. You said you were sad and disappointed. Obviously the injury in Stuttgart and now here, how do you balance or what is your perspective on your run-up to Roland Garros?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I would describe it as rocky. But, I mean, I can't necessarily say it's been ups and downs because if I think about it, it's definitely been going up. Like every match that I've played, I've learned a lot. I've tried to take what I've learned into the next match. I think I've done that well.

But the injury part is definitely very, like, annoying. I don't know, for me I feel like the ab thing could have been helped. This one, I don't think I could have helped it because I don't know what caused it. I don't know why I have it.

So, yeah, I feel like there's preventable injuries, then there's ones that are just like you kind of have to take it how it is.

Q. Do you know if your plan, once you get it checked out, is to go straight to Paris or somewhere else to train? Any thoughts about that at all?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I'm going to stay here for one more day and see, like, how it is. But, yeah, I haven't really talked to everyone yet, so I don't really know what the plan is right now.

Q. Has it happened other times where you had the same sort of problems or is this a completely new one?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I never had this problem before, so it's brand-new. For me, I'm a bit sad because, I don't know, like I've never really gotten this far here. Yesterday the crowd was super nice to me, so I wanted to get on center court and sort of kind of pay them back in a way by doing my best.

I can't even really do that, so I feel like it's very unfortunate, especially since when I was warming up, there were people cheering for me. It was just a warmup. Yeah, I'm kind of disappointed in myself in that way.

Q. Do you think it's a different atmosphere here than others? Here do you feel anything particular or different that attracts you or makes you curious?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I think here is pretty cool because, like, normally you can tell a difference between courts. When I was on, I don't know what is the official name of the court, I just called it the statue court. When I was on the statue court, people were kind of being aggressive with the cheering. I thought it was pretty fun. It didn't really feel like a tennis match. It felt like a soccer match a little bit. I thought it was great.

Q. You're saying clay is not your favorite surface, not so comfortable on it. What's the biggest challenge for you on this surface?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think for me, I'm kind of comfortable with it now. It's just like I randomly slip. I feel like if I can get that under control, I don't know, I'll be good.

THE MODERATOR: Japanese questions.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: For me, I don't know, I don't really think about it that way. I think I'm going to take it how I went to Australia. I was able to be seeded quite high there. Of course, I think a lot of people are going to talk about that. I feel like everyone knows that Grand Slams to me are like a playground. I have fun a lot there.

I feel like hopefully I won't have pressure. I know I'm saying that now while I'm not in the situation. Maybe in the first match I might have a lot. I'm not really sure.

Yeah, I mean, I wasn't even going to attempt to serve because I couldn't hit a forehand correctly. I can't put strength in my hand at all. Yeah, I feel like it was sort of pointless to attempt to serve because that's where I have to grip the racquet the hardest.

Okay, so you see here, this is my left hand, here is really like swollen. If you look at this hand, compare it to this hand... So, yeah, over here is where it hurts the most.

Yeah, I mean, I'm going to be honest. This was completely my fault because I'm the type of person that sort of sweeps something under the rug until it gets extremely bad. I only told NaNa five minutes before I was getting on the court.

I was, like, this is how I approached it. I was looking at her. She's like, What? Then I start laughing. When I'm nervous, I start laughing. So then I'm laughing.

I'm like, I can't move my hand.

She's looking at me, like, What?

I'm like, I can't move my hand.

So Jay is staring at me. Abdul is staring at me. NaNa looks kind of concerned.

I'm like, I can't move my thumb and I'm not sure if I can grip my racquet, so I'm not sure if I can play my match. I'm laughing while I'm saying this.

So I think I kind of, like, completely sabotaged NaNa just now because I'm supposed to tell her, she's my physio, even if I feel a little pain in any way, like early in the morning or whatever. I tried to sweep it under the rug every hour. I was thinking it was going to get better. Then it didn't.

Yeah, I'm like the last-minute type of person.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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