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October 5, 2019

Naomi Osaka

Beijing, China

N. OSAKA/C. Wozniacki

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Going against China Open reigning champion, did you have a specific strategy for the match tonight?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, for me, I didn't really think too much about that. I just thought that she's beaten me the last couple times. Like even when we practice, she's beaten me. I just didn't try to put too much pressure on myself.

I know she's one of the best movers on tour, so I just expected a lot of long rallies.

Q. How would you describe her game tonight, strengths and weaknesses you noticed?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, strengths, of course, she got a lot of balls back that I didn't expect. She hits very low on the backhand, which was really tricky for me. I feel like on certain points I went down the line too early because I was a bit intimidated by how many balls she was getting back.

Q. Obviously a tight first set until the break. You were trading backhand to backhand rallies in the first set. As the match wore on, more cross-court forehand. Was that conscious, a light bulb in your head?
NAOMI OSAKA: To be honest, like, I don't know. Mostly when I play, it's instinct. I guess I just went down the line on the backhand earlier to get the forehand crosses. For sure I think when I'm hitting backhand cross-court with her, she hits more angle-y which is more tricky to play against.

I think instinctively I went backhand down the line to get the forehand crosses. That's probably why it worked out.

Q. Talk about your serve, how big that came up for you, especially in the second set.
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, my serve is confusing to me. The percentage is really low, but when it goes in, it's very helpful, I would say. So, yeah, definitely I think in the moments that I'm really tight or there's a very close situation, I can count on it like 80% of the time to pull through.

So, yeah, I feel like I just have to get the percentage higher.

Q. Obviously getting the big win late last night, situations can be a trap match: coming off a great win, you're expected to win. How did you manage the last not even 24 hours emotionally prepare for the semifinal?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I haven't slept since before I played Bianca. I did not emotionally prepare. I just tried to sleep as much as I could. Before I knew it, I had to come back here, which don't get me wrong, I love it here, but it's definitely been a bit crazy time-wise. Props to you guys, too, because I know you guys have to stay here longer than me.

Q. You're playing Ash Barty tomorrow, the world No. 1. Where do you think that final will be won or lost?
NAOMI OSAKA: Where? Here (smiling).

Q. Yeah, but you know what I mean.
NAOMI OSAKA: I actually don't. My English...

Q. Terrible British here. What am I even asking you? How will you win the match tomorrow, put it like that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I feel like I just can't make too many unforced errors. For me, she's a consistent power player. She also has a lot of, like, change-up shots. I feel like half of what I have to do is not be too crazy on the change-up shots and also try to be the more aggressive player out there, yeah.

Q. Two finals in a row. You were just qualified for the WTA Finals in Shenzhen. How would you rate your performance so far this year? How do you anticipate your performance in Shenzhen?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, this year has definitely been very up and down. I mean, of course Australia was great. Everyone knows Europe was terrible for me. Then US Open wasn't bad, but it wasn't as good as I wanted. Okay, I can't say it wasn't bad. It was pretty bad.

After US Open, I didn't do anything, took a break, told everyone that I was going to do well here. I kind of promised everyone. I'm trying to pull through on that end of the promise. So, yeah, still here somehow.

Q. After the fifth game of the first set, you called your coach. Did he leave any trigger words, comments?
NAOMI OSAKA: You guys know I have a terrible memory, right (smiling)? What did he say?

He just said I was doing well. Honestly, I didn't really call him for -- I didn't think he was going to say much. There wasn't anything he could say. It was what, 3-4, 3-2. I don't know, I think I relatively called him early on.

Q. 3-2.
NAOMI OSAKA: 3-2. I feel like the game just started. It was more like an assessment of what I already knew. I just needed, like, a second voice telling me that.

Can I ask a question? Am I allowed? Are you guys ATP and WTA? Is this like general?

Q. General.
NAOMI OSAKA: Like, why are you not watching the match? I would rather watch the match than be here. Okay, whatever. Sorry (laughter).

Q. Yesterday you talked about the ability of being underrated. Do you have the same mindset as yesterday, being underrated?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I still think I am. Even going into the next match, I'm not the higher-ranked player. I feel like I'm still in a way the underdog, which I really love.

Yeah, I mean, that's sort of answers that question, I think.

Q. Last night you said you were conscious of how big the match was with Andreescu. Tonight you had a match with the defending champion. Tomorrow you have another reigning slam champion. Is it draining in these big matches or do you enjoy the challenge?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, for me, honestly I've never really been in this position because the tournaments that I play I usually get like a day break. Toray is sort of the only exception on that. I'm still kind of new to this.

But, yeah, I mean, for me it's very interesting. Get less than 24 hours, then you have to play like a really great opponent.

But I feel like everyone is sort of struggling, not really struggling but adapting to that. I can't complain because I'm not the only one with these conditions.

Yeah, for me it's very interesting. It's like facing a new opponent with a new skill set, and you have to change the way you're thinking.

Q. I will try to make more sense this time. You said you haven't slept. I presume you have slept a bit after the match. What time did you go to bed? How many hours did you sleep?
NAOMI OSAKA: I honestly think the 'making sense' part is me. It's probably not you.

But, yeah, what time did I go to sleep yesterday? Like 4, then I woke up at 6. So like a solid two hours. Like I just can't really sleep after my matches, so...

Q. Was it because the match was so tough that it made it difficult to sleep or normally after a big match, does that make it more difficult to sleep? How was your sleep during the Grand Slams?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I sleep I wouldn't say worse. I just feel like my adrenaline's up more during the tougher matches, so it makes it harder to sleep.

Yeah, during Grand Slams I don't even really worry about my sleep because you have that day to, like, adjust. It's more like the timing now is a little bit inconvenient.

For the most part I normally sleep more than two hours.

Q. You and Ash have held the No. 1 ranking most of this year. What do you make of her generally? I don't know how well you know her.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I don't really know anyone too well. But I know she's one of the nicest players on tour. That's a fact.

Game? I think, I don't know, doesn't she ace a lot? She has one of the better serves, right? That, of course, is a really big weapon. Everyone knows she slices really well. The forehand, I think it's a heavy spin. Could be wrong. Find that out tomorrow.

Yeah, I mean, I think she does everything that she can with her skill set, which is very wide. You can't really say too much. Like, she's doing amazing, so...

Q. Since you mentioned a few press conferences ago, DaBaby's album, is there a certain song that hypes you up for games that you picked out so far?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, two. Vibez and Toes.

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