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January 7, 2020

Naomi Osaka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

N. OSAKA/M. Sakkari

6-2, 6-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: First question, please?

Q. Congrats on the win. Can you just talk through the match a little bit and how did you reset after the second set?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think in the first set -- well, this is kind of both our first matches of the year, so in the first set I think I just got off to a better start and I was able to like apply the things that I wanted to. And then in the second set she kind of, I think she knew what to expect after a certain point, so she wasn't really fazed by like how hard I was hitting or anything and she got more used to it and more comfortable, so it was a bit harder to, I don't know, win the points as easily as I did in the first set.

And then in the third set I think I just wasn't like tired as much because she was the one that was moving more than me.

Q. And just in terms of getting that first set -- or first match out of the way, you said before that you knew it was going to be tough against Sakkari, so to have a test like that, to play overall well, how do you feel, how do you grade yourself after your first outing?
NAOMI OSAKA: Grade myself? I'm really happy with how I served. I had to retire from my last match because of my shoulder thing, so I wasn't really sure how I was going to serve today, but I was told I hit 16 aces, so that's pretty good for me. Yeah, I think I served well. Return could be better, but it's not anything that is so extreme that I'm nitpicking at it right now. I think I learned a lot during the match as the match went on, so hopefully that skill kind of hones during this entire tournament.

Q. And then, do you feel, does it feel like you're on a 12-match win streak, or do you feel like you are on a one-match win streak?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't really like to bring like last year's stuff into this year, because right now I'm focusing on winning this tournament and the people that I have to play this year, so I'm just going to go with one.

Q. Focus on your next opponent here. Who is your childhood rival?
NAOMI OSAKA: We have been throwing the word rival in too much.

Q. Okay. Childhood acquaintance. Is that better? How would you describe Sofia Kenin?
NAOMI OSAKA: Sofia Kenin. She's like the girl that was younger than me but was better than me. In the juniors she used to kill everybody. But I didn't really play juniors, but in the times that I did, she was like the one winning everything. So I don't think I was a rival to her. I was just that person that would randomly play a tournament once every 12 months. But, yeah, I think it's cool because we both come from the same place. I played her in Cincinnati and she was playing really well, and I think that I managed to get comfortable but then I done messed up. But other than that, I think that that match was pretty fun, like just to see how far we both came, yeah.

Q. What do you think will be the keys to playing adult Sofia in the next round?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, just staying consistent. She's a consistent player, she's very smart, she hits a lot of drop shots, I think she changes based on who she plays, which is a really good thing to do, especially for like her being that young.

Q. You said you learned a lot as the match went on. When you've got these first two matches of the year and you guys have worked on a lot of stuff in the off-season, how much are you able to apply what you've been working on in the off-season in these first early matches versus maybe just the survival of, I need to win this tennis match by figuring out whatever I need to do?
NAOMI OSAKA: I need to win. You saw that in the second set, like, towards 4-4 and definitely during the tiebreaker. When I think like that, I get very shaky and tense and I start complaining. So, yeah, I don't really like thinking like that because in the first set, I was more like planned out what I needed to do in exact situations based on who I was playing. And then in the third set it was sort of faded back into that. But I feel like I did apply a couple things that I was practicing during the off-season.

Q. Do you want to share what those are?
NAOMI OSAKA: Sharing isn't caring.

Q. You said Fissettey on court?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, yeah, Fissettey.

Q. Is that a nickname?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I like to give people nicknames because -- his name's actually very interesting. It's, like, Wim Fissette. It's just nice, like, it rolls off the tongue. But I don't know, I like giving people nicknames.

Q. So to you, he's Fissettey?
NAOMI OSAKA: Fissettey.

Q. I don't think it's just by coincidence but it seems to be that the only two banners promoting this event are you and Ash Barty, and I think the promoters maybe use you as the Australian Open champion, sort of trying to promote this is a sort of a little two-person, two big personalities in the tournament here, for the local people. Are you aware of that or were you happy with that? Is that a good thing for you?
NAOMI OSAKA: For me, it's cool. I've been getting asked a lot of questions like, How is my rivalry with Ash? So I don't know if that's like a reason. But I don't know, for me, rivalry is such a strong word, like, for me.

Q. Well, I didn't use it, because even --
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh no, not you. I'm sorry. I didn't mean like that. I just mean like I'm thinking about like other people. Because you know how Federer and Nadal have a rivalry and they would promote them side by side and stuff. That's like the first thing that would come to my mind, because I'm the third seed.

Q. Yeah, but you're the one who is on the poster.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I know, but I didn't win this tournament before. I appreciate it (laughing).

Q. Another thing, too, you're getting a lot of support from Japanese Australians, I think. I'm just wondering if you saw there was a woman holding up a sign a handmade sign, in the crowd. She was with two girls. Did you see that, by any chance?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't really make it a habit to look into the crowd, but if you're talking about the lady that had like my name on the sign.

Q. Well, I didn't --
NAOMI OSAKA: Was it in Japanese?

Q. I was wondering what was on the sign.
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, yeah, that was my name.

Q. Your name. And, what, just Naomi or your full name or what?
NAOMI OSAKA: Full name. I think.

Q. That's an interesting thing to have on a person.
NAOMI OSAKA: Because I saw the Osaka part, so I'm assuming she put the Naomi part, but I just glanced and then looked back.

Q. Well, you must appreciate that, the support from the local Japanese people here.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, for me when I come to Australia, especially the Australian Open, I remember clearly like the first time I played there -- how do I phrase this without getting in trouble? Just, like, the Japanese people in Australia are way more vocal than in Japan. So for me it's like the funnest thing in the world. They like bang the fence and whatever and I'm just like, whoa, like this is awesome. I'm trying to win this match to see this repetitively. Because like in Japan everyone's polite and we're like following the rules, but in Australia it's like a free-for-all, so I really love it here.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: I started like December 5th, so it was a very short compared to last year. Because last year, I remember I was training in November for a couple of weeks. So I think we just tried to hone in on the things that I knew I was lacking, so just a lot of fitness. And then training-wise, I don't know, Wim's very efficient. Did I just say -- I meant to say -- I was just thinking of Fissettey while I was saying efficient, so then something came out. But he's really efficient, like, he would have like things that he would already want to work on based on like what I said yesterday or what like one shot that wasn't working the day before and, I don't know, he's like a professor. Oh, you want me to share? Sharing isn't caring. I'm not sharing in 2020. You guys are mean, exposing me.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, if you want that then every morning he says "good morning" to me. There's your sharing. I don't know. What does he say to me? Well, I mean you guys watch the on-court coaching today, right? There you go.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: My goal this year? I think just to try as hard as I can every match, because for me I feel like when I do that I somehow end up winning the match, no matter -- oh, that sounds really arrogant -- I put myself in a position to win the match. For me I feel like all I need is like a chance or a couple of chances. I don't know, like I think I learned a lot during the end of last year, because like you guys know I play really well in the big tournaments, and I think Toray was really important for me because it taught me like I don't need to play 100 percent of like my level to do well, I think I just need to believe in myself and fight for every point. And for me I feel like I want to win all the tournaments that I play and I'm sure that's not possible but I at least want to give myself the chance.

Q. (Question in Japanese.)
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I just think I learned that over the years and I know that I'm not going to be playing forever, so I don't want to look back and like regret, you know? Like, oh, you know, if I played this match without complaining or sulking, then maybe I could have won it and then put myself in a position to win the tournament, so...

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