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June 29, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Wimbledon, London, England

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. When you started the clay season, you said you were ready to take on the challenge of playing clay, you were enjoying that challenge. As it comes to adjusting to grass, getting your feet ready for the tournament, what has that process been like? What's the challenge for you on this surface?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, for me, I don't know, it's been kind of tough, especially since it's way more unpredictable than clay. But, you know, I feel like it should be good for me because it's very heavily reliant on the first serves, sort of being the first person to be aggressive.

I've been kind of trying to learn every day. I think it's been a very humbling experience.

Q. I saw you in Birmingham. You were sitting not on the chair, but beside it. Was that an injury? What was Birmingham like?
NAOMI OSAKA: Birmingham was cool. It's just like during that match I had so much stuff on my mind, then I was trying to change something, whether it be, like, sitting on the floor, whatever, try to change something to switch up the atmosphere.

I'll never do that again, so...

Q. When you got to No. 1, you said at the beginning you weren't sure how you were going to feel. You felt pressure in Paris. Now that you're not No. 1, but a high seed here, how do you describe that short arc for you this season mentally?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, mentally it was way more stress and pressure than I could have imagined. I don't think there was anything that could have prepared me for that, especially since I'm kind of an overthinker.

So, yeah, I think it's better for me now to be, like, I was going to say lower ranked - isn't that crazy - to be No. 2 here because the only, like, upside is if you win the tournament, you're automatically No. 1. That, for sure, is a really big goal of mine. I don't have to think about defending the ranking or anything.

Also I'm really happy for Ashleigh. She's super amazing. I think just, like, her whole story of how she, like, quit and came back is super cool.

Q. As you've grown up, have you become any less of an overthinker or is it the same?
NAOMI OSAKA: You know the song 'Mo Money Mo Problems'? Man, oh, man (smiling).

There might not necessarily be more problems, but I'm definitely overthinking more.

Q. You said there's not more problems, but there's definitely more money.
NAOMI OSAKA: You did not just...

Q. You left it very open.

Q. What are you spending it on these days? You're a fashion lover. Anything else new?
NAOMI OSAKA: I spend a lot on, like, hair care, facemasks. I think that's kind of where I splurge a little bit. You have to get, like, that charcoal glow, you know (laughter).

Q. Does it feel different going into Wimbledon as opposed to the last two majors where you felt like there was this Grand Slam streak you wanted to keep going? You talked about the idea of the calendar slam. Does this feel that much different than Australia or Roland Garros felt?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. Actually in Australia I felt like normal. I felt like how I am now. In the French, I wasn't even talking to you guys that much. I know you missed me (smiling).

But, yeah, I think just in Australia of course I wanted to win really bad. I don't know. I didn't know that I would win. It was only in the later rounds that that thought occurred to me. For me, I just wanted to play well. I really love Australia. That was the goal going into the tournament.

In the French, like, I was just thinking about winning, which is something that I don't really do, especially on a surface that I don't typically, you know, have the best results on, so...

Q. There's been some talk that maybe on-court coaching or mid-match coaching would be introduced at the majors. What do you think about that? Is there a preference of how it's done? US Open qualifying, the player in the middle of a game can go to the sidelines and speak to the coach. What are your thoughts?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I don't really like what they tested at US Open. I thought it was kind of random. The rule is so, you can twist that rule so much I think in different ways. Like who's to say that person can't be shouting stuff from the sidelines?

I don't know, I think they need to be more strict on how they're going to apply that, or not do it at all. Especially since it was in the quallies, not in the main draw. I thought there was, like, a disruption. I don't really like the thought of on-court coaching during Grand Slams because I feel like it's like a tradition. Like you just don't do that.

But it would be kind of funny to see, like, the coaches jumping down from the coach's box to try and run on court in time.

Q. What were your earliest thoughts about Wimbledon before you ever had a chance to be here?
NAOMI OSAKA: You want to hear my thoughts? Okay.

I thought it was so fancy. They're fancy over there. Then I thought strawberries and cream. Then I thought, hmm, I don't know. I thought it would be pretty. Because it looks pretty on the TV.

You look so confused (laughter).

Q. Not at all.
NAOMI OSAKA: That's why I asked if you want to hear my thoughts. Like, it's not normal (smiling).

Yeah, I thought it looked pretty, so I wanted to come here in person, which I did.

Q. How old were you when you had those first thoughts, would you say?
NAOMI OSAKA: In what order? Because the fancy part was probably relatively young. Strawberries and cream probably a little bit older. The I want to come here, maybe like when I was 12.

Q. Speaking of young Naomi, Coco Gauff became the youngest qualifier in Wimbledon history. What do you remember about yourself when you were 15?
NAOMI OSAKA: I wasn't here when I was 15, so props to her.

I actually hit with her two years ago or something. I thought she was really good. When I was 15? I was playing, like, ITFs, so...

I'm really interested to see, like, where her path takes her.

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