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October 1, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Beijing, China

N. OSAKA/A. Petkovic

6-2, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think you just dominated today. What are you satisfied most about today's match?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think today I just tried not to make that many unforced errors where it counted. Also I just tried to be the more aggressive player off the bat because I feel like she wants to be close to the baseline most of the time. Like right off the bat I felt like I had to get her moving.

I think I did that well.

Q. That was a hugely emphatic victory today. Is that some of the best tennis you've played this year?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I played well in Australia (laughter).

No, I mean, I think I've been doing well since Tokyo. But, like, scoreline-wise, probably one of the cleaner victories.

Q. You mentioned you were riled up yesterday or the day before. Today not so. How can you explain the difference between the two moods?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I just feel like the first match I played, it was like first-round jitters. I also wanted to do well since I played well in Tokyo. There was a lot going on in my mind.

The second match, I lost to her before. I felt, like, a little bit of pressure was taken off of me. Also I kind of felt like I was getting my mojo back. The longer the tournament goes, the more rounds I play, the better I think I do, so...

Q. Petkovic had five double-faults, three of them came on breakpoints. Was there something you noticed about her serve today?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, not really. I feel like I just tried to be very aggressive. Maybe she felt that, she felt like she needed to go for more.

Like I don't know the stats of her serves on average.

Q. Is there some stuff you still want to work on? It's going to get tougher and tougher each game. Any practice that you want to do in particular right now?
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly not really. I feel like for me, as long as I'm confident in my abilities, it works out fine. I don't know. I tend to fix things during the matches when I play well. I'm just kind of counting on that, which may end up being my downfall. For right now it seems to be working fine.

Q. What has it been like having your dad as your coach?
NAOMI OSAKA: Hi, Courtney (smiling).

Yeah, it feels like it took me back a little bit because he's always been around, but he's been in the shadows for the most part. I would say he is a person that knows my game the most. He's kind of the person that knows the trigger words, whether good or bad.

Definitely it's been very nostalgic. I think we're getting along good, so...

Q. What have been the key trigger words with the last few weeks?
NAOMI OSAKA: He likes saying, It's not rocket science, which is triggering (smiling). Just, like, staying calm and stuff.

Q. What was it like to go back to Osaka and have the family there? I know you wanted to win that title badly. But to play the way that you did, to win the title with your dad as your coach. How did you feel the emotions were at the start of the week and the end of the week?
NAOMI OSAKA: You should have been there, man. Where were you?

Q. Vacation.
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, man, lucky (laughter).

Yeah, I mean, for me it was kind of crazy. The entire week I was thinking I didn't want to win it, I thought I needed to win it. Every day I would just wake up and I'd be, You have to for the irony, for the Osaka and the Osaka, you know?

Honestly at this point I was just thinking, like, I've gone to the finals twice already. Maybe people think that's where I'll get stuck forever. That pressure was a little bit off.

I just felt really energized because the crowd was really nice. They weren't aggressively cheering for me. They were, like, still respectful for the other person.

Q. Coming out of that tournament, do you realize on maybe a subconscious level or general level that it seems like in your career when you've wanted a thing, you've been able to achieve that thing? Like winning in Tokyo, winning the US Open, certain matches. Is that something that you kind of realize you have? Not everybody necessarily has that.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I kind of noticed that. It's something that's a little bit tiring. Technically you're supposed to want to win every match. But I don't feel that sort of fire in every match I play. It comes sometimes, certain tournaments.

I just feel like I need to figure out a way to turn that on all the time, which maybe wouldn't make it as special or as dominating. Yeah, for sure it's something that I've noticed.

Q. I think two days ago you posted an Instagram story that you exchanged a T-shirt with Frances Tiafoe. I don't know who brought up the idea?
NAOMI OSAKA: We didn't exchange it. He just happened to have the same shirt in his bag. I've been making fun of him the last couple days because he comes, like, to the site with these pink shoes. I was like, Oh, you know, maybe tomorrow I'll wear my pink shoes.

I was just warming up. I was, like, Oh, I have that purple shirt on. Where is your purple shirt?

He dug in his pack and somehow found one.

It wasn't like we exchanged shirts. That's kind of weird (smiling).

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