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June 1, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Paris, France


6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. I know you were extremely nervous in your first round and were able to pull through. Was this a case of nerves staying with you for the whole tournament long?
NAOMI OSAKA: I'm, yeah, I would say that, but at the same time I don't want to blame how I played on that.

But, yeah, definitely I think this tournament I have had a feeling that was different to the other Grand Slams, or, like, every other Grand Slam that I have played, because usually I find it very freeing and fun, and this time around I was kind of tense the entire time.

Q. What's the level of disappointment at the moment?
NAOMI OSAKA: You said what's the No. 1 disappointment?

Q. What's the level of your disappointment.
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, like, it would go from 1 to 10 and I'm like at a 100 right now. Yeah.

Q. What particular challenges does Siniakova throw up, especially on a surface like clay?
NAOMI OSAKA: I guess retrieving.

Q. You were quite candid with us about feeling the pressure of being No. 1 at a Grand Slam for the first time. Now that you've done it, is there anything, a different approach you might take mindset-wise to the next Grand Slam you play as No. 1?
NAOMI OSAKA: Um, I'm not really sure. Like, for me, I think -- I kind of live my life in moments, so I can't really talk about the future, because I'm kind of currently feeling what I'm feeling now (smiling).

Q. What is that?
NAOMI OSAKA: He just asked me if I felt depressed, this guy over here.

Q. No, no, I'm sorry. You said you're feeling the way you're feeling right now and you can't really project into the future. Could you just elaborate on how you're feeling now?
NAOMI OSAKA: The guy... I don't want to say I feel depressed, but I do. I think it's a natural part of life, especially if, like, you train super hard for moments like these, and then you don't perform how you want to. I feel like saying that "I'm depressed" is a very strong statement. Because I felt that way before, and it's not as extreme as that.

So I would just say I'm very disappointed in how I played, and I wish I could have done better. But I can't turn time, so...

Q. Was there a feeling of invincibility that you have sort of felt in your previous matches that wasn't there for you today?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, no, because I couldn't predict that I was going to win on both of my matches, but I just know today I felt very tired. And, like, the other matches, too, I had, like, this headache, right, but I didn't feel tired.

So I'm thinking, like, the headache is just my stress, kind of (smiling). So it just kept staying. Because I don't really get sick like that. So, yeah, I just felt tired and I had a headache. But I should be able to push through that no matter what, so...

Q. Before Roland Garros, thinking about who would be the favorite to win the tournament, it's hard to think of one, and during the tournaments, any of those upsets doesn't seem surprising at all. So as the No. 1 and the player in the game, do you see the women's tennis in this way, too, and do you enjoy being in this situation?
NAOMI OSAKA: Do I see women's tennis as being what?

Q. Like everybody has the possibility to beat anyone. And there are so many unstable elements in it.
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't really like how people say that, because it makes it seem like there is no consistency. But, I mean, I think there is -- I don't know. There is always people you can tell are going to go far, and I kind of hoped I was going to be one of them, but obviously I'm here now.

I don't know. I don't really look at other people in that way. I kind of concentrate on myself.

Q. You don't seem like you have particularly enjoyed this tournament. Is that just the pressure of having the No. 1 next to your name, or has there been something else about this tournament?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I just feel like there has been a weight on me, kind of. And I know that's because everything is, like, sort of new. Like, I have played French Open before but not in this circumstance or situation, whichever one.

So, yeah, I mean, it hasn't been the happiest of times, because I tend to think, like -- I mean, you guys are kind of more used to it because you're tennis journalists, or some of you guys are. I don't know if the rest... But, like, you know, like, other people outside of tennis they look at the rankings, like, Oh, she's supposed to win this match because the other girl is ranked 5 million hundred or whatever.

And then it's, like, these people, you know, they're really good but they have ups and downs. I wasn't ranked 1 last year. I was ranked 70. There's people that can play really good but not consistently and there are times they shine, and there is nothing I can really do about it.

I totally didn't answer your question, but...

Q. What would be the best thing that could happen to you now to lift the weight off your shoulders and make you feel happy? What would you most look forward to putting a smile on your face, apart from us asking you lots of questions?
NAOMI OSAKA: You know, it's weird, but I think me losing is probably the best thing that could have happened. I think I was overthinking this, like, calendar slam. For me this is something that I have wanted to do forever, but I think I have to think about it like if it was that easy, everyone would have done it. I just have to keep training hard and put myself in a position again to do it hopefully.

But for now, like, peacing out of this tournament, I' going home, like, Bye, I'm sorry, I'm not gonna miss you guys (smiling).

Q. How would you sum up your clay season overall? What are you looking forward to for grass?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, if I think about it, like, results-wise, I think this is definitely the best clay season I have had. Semis, two quarters, and, like, I didn't lose in the first round, so it could have been worse. Of course, it obviously could have been better, too.

But I can't really say too many negative things about this, especially since it's my first, like, extended season with J. and Nana came back and Abdul is here, too. So I feel like we are kind of a unit now, and we can only look towards the future.

Grass season, I have never really done well there, either (smiling). So I guess I can only keep looking up.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Japanese.

(Naomi's English answers to Japanese questions.)

NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't say there was anything necessarily tough about this Grand Slam, like, I think every tournament is hard. I can't really point out anything that gives it so -- like, it's not as extreme as all the other things. It's just on clay. So I can't say there is anything -- I mean, it's the only Grand Slam I lost in the first round, though. But other than that, there's nothing that I would say about it. And then I think compared to last year, what I have done better is tried to stay in the rallies more. Today definitely I didn't do that at all, but the other matches, yeah.

I mean, it's kind of hard to, like, say, because obviously last year I would have been happy to get to the third round. I mean, it would have been normal. Like, before I just used to play until the third round. It's weird how life works a little bit like that, because once you get to your goal, you kind of want to keep doing the same thing over and over again, and you're not really satisfied anymore. But I would say, like, if there's anything I can take away from this, I'm proud of how I played the first match and the match I played against Vika, because I was down in both of those, and I played three sets on clay, which is really physically tough. Yeah, hopefully next year I can do better.

Yeah, I mean, I feel like all the questions that you asked are kind of -- for me, it kind of goes back to I was feeling very tired, and so Love-40, she hit a dropshot. I slipped. And then my returns weren't great at all today. I mean, I felt like -- like, it's one of those things where you know what you're doing wrong and you're trying to change it but your body is not really listening to your mind. So of course I knew that I was flat. I knew that if I stayed in the rallies on the forehand side, I would probably definitely, 99% of the time, win the rally. But for some reason I kept switching down the line and doing really weird stuff. Yeah.

I mean, when am I ever exciting though? I mean, I know there are some people that love this time of the year. For me, I'm definitely not one of those people. But of course, like, clay is one of the Grand Slams, and I have to figure out how to sort of embrace it and love it in my own way. I mean, when I get here, I'm excited, I guess (smiling). But then it kind of goes away, because I try to focus on playing my matches.

Yeah, I mean, I feel like the reason was because, like, I haven't been able to relax since I got here. Like, I have been tense, so maybe, like, even when I'm sleeping, I'm, like, Ahhh. And then maybe that makes me tired. I don't know. Like, I'm not a medical professional (smiling). But, yeah -- I have so many thoughts going on right now. I just think, like -- I feel like if I say any more about me being tired, it's going to sound like an excuse, you know. Because she played great. I don't think there is anything that I can say that should take away from she's into the round of 16 at the French, and I'm not going to keep saying that I was tired, because obviously she played a super-long match her last round and she's tired too, probably. Yeah, I'm just going to end it there. Like, there are situations that you're supposed to fight out of that I didn't fight out of today, and that's why I lost.

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