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January 10, 2020

Naomi Osaka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

N. OSAKA/S. Kenin

6-7, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. Good win out there. Tough first set. Had those set points but couldn't get it done then, but then you steamed home after that. What did you think of it?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I thought like, I don't know, I was serving well throughout the entire match, so I'm very happy about that. I just think during the pressure moments I just got really tight and made a couple really bad decisions, but I tried to fix that in the second and third set and I think it worked out.

Q. You've hit 34 aces in two matches so far, so that's a lot more than your average. How are you -- is it really feeling like that much better or is it more of an intentional focus that you're going for more aggressive first serves?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think more intentional because like since I had that shoulder thing I haven't really been practicing my serve, so I feel like, I don't know, every serve that I serve should count and it's been working out really well.

Q. What was going on in your head after the first set on the set break?
NAOMI OSAKA: Wait, the set break, like, when she won or when I didn't like --

Q. When she won. I won't ask you what was going on when you won.
NAOMI OSAKA: I was just like, oh, man, here we go again, like, I'm probably going to have to play another third set match. I feel bad for you guys though because you guys got to stay here longer (laughing), so sorry about that. But, hey, I hope it was entertaining.

Q. I saw you re-tweeted Medvedev shot already. You're still a big fan of his?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, he's very interesting to me. I've never talked to him in real life, but just like the things that I see on the internet about him. Have you ever like interviewed him?

Q. Yeah.
NAOMI OSAKA: Is he interesting?

Q. Yeah.
NAOMI OSAKA: He seems, yeah.

Q. He is an interesting guy. You should meet. You have lots of opportunities. You're in the same place all the time.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I don't really talk to people, Ben. I don't know what to tell you.

Q. After the match there was the like cute little Aussie moment but then those fans kind of like hanging over asking you for autographs you took your time a lot with people. I'm curious, in the last couple years as you've been in those situations more and more, do you feel overwhelmed, do you feel like everyone wants an autograph? You seem to like take your time and be very purposed about giving that time with the fans. What is going through your head when you do that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, for me I don't normally get a lot of time to sign autographs, like, especially if there's a match after. But I was told there was six minutes, so I was like trying to sign as many as I could. But also, I saw that most of the people on the side were like young kids. So, I don't know, I just think it's a bit odd for me to think that's taking my time when it's past their bedtime and they probably took like a car. They drove to get here. So just for them to like show that support, I don't know, for me I just feel like the fans make the game, you know. Like, what would I be doing if there wasn't people that come and watch the match, so...

Q. And you did have Wim out on court tonight. What's that dynamic like when have you a new coach? And do you guys talk about, before the match or as you've started working together, what you need from the coach in match, because players are very different as to what sort of type of communication they want to have with the coach.
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly, we didn't really talk about that sort of stuff. It's something that just flows naturally. I don't know, I think our dynamic is pretty much like I just listen to what he tells me and try to apply it without making that many jokes on court. But, yeah, we haven't really sat down and said, like, this is the way to communicate or whatever. Because for me I feel like I'm still learning how to communicate.

Q. And is the hitting partner that's here with you this week, is that a new full-time person as part of your team?

Q. Who is he?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, his name's Karue. And we have a nickname -- well, I have a nickname for him, too -- his name is Kadu-Kadu. Yeah, he's, because I moved (laughing) because, okay, so because I moved and I didn't really know people there that like hit, so he's like, he hits with me all the time and I just wanted someone that could hit with me while I'm at my place and also while I'm traveling.

Q. Is that in L.A.?
NAOMI OSAKA: What? Yeah. I don't even know why I was avoiding saying that, to be honest.

Q. So how do you like L.A.?
NAOMI OSAKA: It's cool. It was cold, though. Like, because I was used to it off-season in Florida, so I was a little bit worried about how that was going to go. But I spent a week here before the tournament started, so it's not bad. But it's really nice. There's a lot of things to do.

Q. What are some of the things you do in L.A.?
NAOMI OSAKA: I go to the beach. I do the bike ride from Venice to Manhattan, and then I eat an acai bowl. And then I look at, you know, the surfers. I feel very L.A. Yeah, I went to the Hollywood sign twice for no reason. Yeah, I'll take suggestions though.

Q. Have you found Haitian food there?

Q. There's really nothing?
NAOMI OSAKA: It's really breaking my heart for real. Like I know when Miami comes after the tournament finishes I'm just going to eat like, sorry, but it was my destiny. Haitian food is my life. Have you guys ever? No. Well, it will change your life and it's either in a really bad way because you'll just gain weight or in a really good way because it's just blessing your taste buds.

Q. Looking ahead, they're still playing, but Kontaveit or Bertens, can you talk through each one of those matchups, what, yeah, what would be the key there?
NAOMI OSAKA: Okay. I didn't look at the draw, so you just told me. No, it's cool. I would have to know that like eventually. I played Kontaveit a couple of times, so I'm kind of familiar with her game. But I haven't played her recently, so I'm not sure how that's going to match up. I just know she was really tough to play against in the previous times. And Bertens, I've practiced with her a couple of times, but it was on clay, so that doesn't count for me (laughing). Yeah, she has a great serve. And both of them are really like good competitors, which is pretty obvious, so it's probably going to be another really hard match for me.

Q. Ash Barty lost earlier --
NAOMI OSAKA: Jesus, that was a strong statement.

Q. Did that sort of shock you or did you know that Brady could play at that same level?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, Brady beat Sharapova. And I've played against her, Brady, and she's a really good player. I think people, it's not shocking, shocking, but I think given like the hype because this is Australia and it's the first match and Ash just won Shenzhen, I can also see why that's shocking. But I didn't watch the match, so I'm not really going to comment on it. But I'm assuming you guys watched the match, so you guys can comment on it (laughing). I was taking a nap because I had to play this night match.

Q. A bit of a quick turnaround now. You'll be all right for tomorrow however?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, my opponents are still playing, so it's worse for them. I can't really complain about the situation I'm in. Is this easier for you guys or harder?

Q. Harder.

Q. Sorry, really quick on the Haitian food front. Did you ever watch that video of the drag queens going to little Haiti in Brooklyn?

Q. What did you think of it?
NAOMI OSAKA: That was hilarious to me. I really liked it.

Q. What did you think of them carrying a giant cardboard cutout of you around Brooklyn?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well I wonder -- first of all, I wonder where they found it and if they had to make it. And also, like I don't know, for me I just feel like people with such big personalities are so fun and I wish I had a big personality and I wasn't scared of every human being on the face of the earth. But, yeah, that was really fun to watch.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I think for me, of course, like everything gets better as the match progresses and I really just needed to figure out the timing and also the pace of her serve, because in the first set always in the back of my mind I felt like she could maybe turn up the speed of her serve, so I didn't want to get caught while I was returning. But then in the second and third set I just realized that I should probably just go for my returns and stop being so hesitant.

Oh, we're -- oh, no sharing in 2020. But you also know I have short-term memory, so this is an unfair question. Honestly, you could like, you could re-watch the on-court coaching and it would be more accurate than what I'm about to say. What did he say?

My thoughts on it? I don't think really -- wait -- he said -- I don't know. I don't know what he said. This is a setup. I can tell you what I was thinking, though, while he was talking. I was thinking, like, I just have to be positive and keep playing as hard as I can and not give up, but I think that's also what he was saying. He was telling me about being aggressive on the returns, which I think I did. Trying to like mix it up on the second serves because she was attacking my soft kick serves. So, yeah, stuff like that.

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