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September 2, 2019

Naomi Osaka

New York, NY, USA

B. BENCIC/N. Osaka

7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was two really close sets. What do you think made the difference in the end?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I think she played pretty clean. I think she had, like, a specific plan she wanted to execute. I guess that.

I don't know. I don't want to answer, like, saying that, like, everything that I did wrong, you know. Like, I want to think about it more positively.

Q. One of the trainers did come out and looked like your knee. What was the level of concern with the knee and the effect?
NAOMI OSAKA: Like, I hurt my knee in Cincinnati, but it's getting better. I don't want to say that that's the reason that I lost, because I obviously had played, like, three matches before this.

Yeah, I just needed to take a painkiller.

Q. Losing the match must be so difficult. Do you feel like you walked away with greater sportsmanship after this tournament?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, for me, right now I have this feeling of sadness, but I also feel like I have learned so much during this tournament. Honestly, of course I wanted to defend this tournament.

I feel like the steps that I have taken as a person have been much greater than, like, I would imagine at this point. So I hope that I can keep growing. I know that if I keep working hard, then of course I'll have better results.

Q. How was that feeling of sadness different than after your losses at Roland Garros and at Wimbledon?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, in Wimbledon I walked out on you guys (smiling). In Roland Garros, I came straight from the match, so I was all gross and I just wanted to get out of there.

Obviously, as you can see, I took a shower (smiling). Yeah, I feel like I'm more chill now. Because it sort of relates back to his question, like, I feel like I grew. I don't feel like I put so much weight on one single match.

Of course to a certain extent I do, but I think, like, as a whole I want to see that I, like, played better matches through the summer. Because I feel like definitely the tournament that I played here has been the best one so far.

Q. I saw you were liking a lot of tweets about Medvedev's interviews here. You had your own special on-court moment with Coco. He's had two different post-match interviews. Curious what you enjoy so much about what he's been doing here?
NAOMI OSAKA: The thing is I don't know the background of why they're booing him, but it's just so funny. Like every day, he has something new to say, like, he wins and then he's, like, Because of you guys I have the energy. I was so, like, injured coming into this match, but because of you, he's like, Thank you. He says the "thank you" so nicely.

Yeah, I don't know the background of why they are booing him. It's just funny to me.

Q. Do you appreciate his...
NAOMI OSAKA: The sarcasm is beautiful.

Q. You have mentioned lessons you have learned. What do you think you have learned that's so important over the last year since you won the championship here?
NAOMI OSAKA: Is that two years (smiling)? I expected an answer but you didn't give me one.

Lessons that I've learned. I guess not to take myself so seriously. That would be the biggest one.

Yeah, just to know that there's always another tournament. I'm kind of still figuring it out, honestly, as I go along.

Q. What were the things Belinda did that were so tough for you today? She's played well against you in the past, too.
NAOMI OSAKA: Hmm. I guess just being aggressive. I know that's a really, like, blunt, short answer, but that's honestly all I can think of.

Q. Were you surprised by how the Coco moment took off, people have been commenting on social media, various people?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, for me, I have all my notifications off, so I don't really know who's, like, doing whatever. But, yeah, I was kind of surprised, because I just thought it was for the people in there, like, the stands (smiling).

Yeah, definitely didn't expect it to blow up like that.

Q. You mentioned earlier this week that players tend to play their best against you. It seems that's happened with Bencic quite a few times. What do you take from that? Is it an extra challenge for you going forward?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, for me, it's something I have learned over the summer that even if you aren't playing your best, you're going to play people who are going to play their best. You have to figure out how to win those matches. And it's matches like that that are the most important, because it really tests your character.

So I think on that side I have a lot of growing up to do.

Q. What do you think you learned about trying to defend your title here that you might be able to take into Melbourne next year?
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly, I'm not that mad at this. Like, everyone that's not new to me knows that, like, until I won here last year, I was, like, constantly around 3 person, you know.

So of course I can look at this and be very disappointed and mad, but I feel like -- like, I'm not mad at it. Of course I would like to reach higher, like, rounds. That's definitely what I'll aim for in Australia. But for right now, I think the level of tennis that I was playing in Europe was terrible -- that's kind of mean. Was not that great.

Yeah, just coming here, two quarterfinals, round of 16. Hopefully I'll do well in Japan because I always do well in Japan, and just keep building off of it to end the season.

Q. Do you feel you have more crowd support?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, it was kind of weird. Yeah, definitely felt like people were cheering for me more, which I appreciate. Yeah, it was kind of unexpected.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: No, I mean, for me I think, like, I honestly didn't move well today. You know what I mean? I felt like I was always flat-footed. Given that she's very aggressive, of course if you're surprised you would be on the back foot. But I have played her so many times that I'm not surprised at this point.

Yeah, I mean, the knee was a little bit annoying in the movement aspect, but I think that that's something I should have overcome in a way that I either should have started playing more aggressively or just, like, tried to, like, hit at a higher length. Yeah, not like moon ball but try to hit -- yeah.

No, I mean, for me, I feel actually better losing here than I lost in Indian Wells, because of course there's not a feeling of acceptance, but I feel like I learned a lot from today. Like, there is a lot of things that I did wrong. For me, whenever I do things wrong, I usually take it to the next match. That's when I play better. So honestly, I'm just excited for the next tournament.

Yeah, I mean, that's kind of like a double-sided question, because, like, I can't really land on my leg, like, that great. So that's why, like, I haven't been practicing my serve coming into this tournament. That's kind of why it's so inconsistent right now. Hopefully I can practice more after this.

Wait, what? Sorry.

Title? Hmm. Title. This chapter is Chapter 5, and it's titled "The Process," because it's a process.

I had a lot of fun here. I always have a lot of fun in New York. And I think there are a lot of things that I can carry from here.

Maybe. Maybe. Maybe you guys will be there and then I won't show up. I don't know (smiling).

To be honest, I'm not even thinking about playing tennis there right now. All I'm thinking about is, like, the takoyaki. I want to go to that street with, like, the giant octopus sign, you know, the food street. I want to get some okonomiyaki. Honestly, I'm just there for the food.

I'm just kidding. Yeah, it's definitely been a while since I've been to Osaka. I think the last time the pro tournament was there, and then I played against Svitolina. I think I remember that. So definitely super excited to go back there, and I hope that a lot of people come. I know that I'll have a lot of fun.

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