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January 10, 2020

Naomi Osaka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

N. OSAKA/K. Bertens

6-3, 3-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Who has the first question?

Q. Another good win today. Another three-setter. What did you make of it today?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I think I started off really well today as opposed to yesterday. I don't know, I feel like we were both feeling each other out, though, and she sort of adjusted better to me in the second set, and I was kind of confused if I was playing bad or if she was just playing better and that was something that I had to mentally figure out. And then in the third set I just decided to stop complaining and try to fight for every point.

Q. You're on a 14-match win streak now. Just how much confidence do you have when things do get complicated in matches today that you're going to be able to find a solution and figure them out? What does that feel like, knowing that there probably is a solution to any given match right now?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I don't really think too much about like the win thing, because there was a streak last year that I was really like intent on and then when I lost it, it was just really devastating. So, honestly, I'm just focused on the things that I can control right now. And for me like I feel like I'm playing -- I don't feel like, I know like I'm playing like the best players in the world here and every round for me is really hard, so I'm just thinking about the things I can control during the match.

Q. The streak last year, you're talking about the Grand Slam streak?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, it was the, something about if I win the first set or something then I don't lose the match. That one broke my heart (laughing). Su-wei, why'd she have to do me like that?

Q. You just said that you're confused, that either you're playing not good or she's playing better so, how did you figure out what was your answer?
NAOMI OSAKA: Oh, my answer was Wim told me that she was playing better. Because I get very, not negative, very critical of myself, the first, like my automatic reaction is just to like tell myself I'm doing bad and I need to do better. But most of the time I think I need to realize that the better players that I play, they will also figure things out. Of course, they're not, like they're smart, so of course everyone's going to adjust to what I'm doing.

Q. She's one of the best players, particularly on the backhand side in the corner of defending that corner, defending those angles. And there was a stretch of time where it seemed like it was incredibly difficult for you to find any space to hit a winner pass her. So in terms of being able to solve that particular problem, what do you think you did better in the third set to kind of be able to do that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Honestly, I think I just like bulldozed my way through that. Of course I tried to hit more angley to give myself more space. But for the most part I was just trying to be the aggressor.

Q. Just looking ahead to what you've been able to achieve so far, are you confident ahead of the Australian Open, just the quality of matches here and what you've been able to achieve so far?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I am confident. I think I really learned a lot from New York and for me, that was a really big turning point. I think mentally, of course, and for me that's always the most important part. I think I play better when I'm mentally sound. So, yeah, I'm pretty confident in my abilities.

Q. What did you learn in New York?
NAOMI OSAKA: Just, I feel like in that match I played, there were moments where I accepted defeat and I was okay with it, which like after the match I was just so disgusted with myself because when I was a kid like I would dream to be in that position so I could fight to go to the finals and win it. But for me to like sit there and think that it's okay to like lose in the fourth round is like kind of pathetic and stuff. So I just told myself after that match I'm going to fight for every point, yeah, and now we are here.

Q. Was that sort of resignation because Belinda had beaten you before last year, or what was it you think that caused that --
NAOMI OSAKA: No, actually, whenever I play her, because she's beaten me so many times, I get very angry, because I don't want to lose more. So the more she beats me, the more angry I get. But it's definitely not because she's beaten me many times. It's just, it's hard for me to pick myself up when I don't play well. Because when you don't play well and you're playing a good player, it's just, you have to use your mind way more to figure out like what to do in that situation. And for me that happened right after the Coco thing, so I was just like thinking, Oh, like, oh, man, I really need to win this match. And I was the defending champion and I was like -- my brain sometimes like thinks too much.

Q. The Coco thing, meaning that you got a lot of attention for that moment?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I just felt like it's kind of bad to lose the next match after winning that match. Like, that's just what my brain does.

Q. Tomorrow either Riske or Pliskova, any sort of choice there, or who do you want to play against out of those two?
NAOMI OSAKA: I honestly have no choice. I'm pretty neutral, because they're both -- I played Riske in Beijing. She's a more recent person I can think of. I only played Pliskova in Australia, I think is the most recent time last year. But I don't really have fond memories of playing either of them. They were both very hard, so I don't really have a choice.

THE MODERATOR: Any Japanese questions?

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: I thought we were supposed to use the microphone (laughing). No, just kidding. I mean, I think it's a combination of both. I wasn't really trying to serve that hard today because she was far back and I knew that she would probably get it. Of course, there's a downside to that, which is I don't get that many free points off my serve. But she's one of the best returners on the tour, so I know my aces were nonexistent this match. But I'm not mad at how I served today.

I'm good at group settings, I think. I played -- Fed Cup is fun. I don't know, it's fun to cheer for people. But I don't know. I've only played Fed Cup like twice. But other than that, I don't really have much experience in, like -- oh, I played that tournament that -- what is it called? Yeah, World Team Tennis, I played that, that was also fun. But, yeah, as long as I don't have to play doubles we're all good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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