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January 11, 2020

Naomi Osaka

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


6-7, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Tough match today. What was going through your mind, I guess, after the match point, did your mindset change at all?
NAOMI OSAKA: The match point that I lost?

Q. Yeah. Match point that you had.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I don't know. I've been -- I don't know how long it's been since the match, but all I can think is like I wonder if I should have hit it harder, because for me I was thinking it was a good idea, it was a change of pace, but maybe I shouldn't have done that on a match point, but I'll never know and it's kind of like eating me up a little bit. But I think I learned a lot from it, so.

Q. What did you learn from it?
NAOMI OSAKA: Losing the match point terribly. Well, gee, I learned a lot. I learned that you shouldn't like switch up pace when you could maybe get free points on your serve. Thanks, Courtney. You just heard -- I was kidding.

Q. But just in general looking at that match, I mean, the first two sets in particular were incredibly high quality from both of you and seemed like very much on a razor's edge. So can you at this point analyze like just the level of play and where you think the difference really was in that match between the two of you?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, actually, for me that felt like -- not that I've played that many, but like Grand Slam final-type, like, the first two sets. I thought they were really good. She was serving really well. Either that or I was returning really bad, I don't know. Yeah, we were both serving really well. It obviously came down to the tiebreaks in both of them, but in the third set I was just lingering too much on the match point that I missed. And I played like so many three sets, my body was kind of like, why, like why are you doing this again? Yeah. That's basically what happened.

Q. It seemed like still, though, it looked like it could have potentially been another quintessential Naomi Osaka third set comeback. You had that love-40. At that point did it feel as though -- do you think you could have played those point any differently? It seemed like she kind of took the racket out of your hand on those.
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, there was that one ball like on 40-love she hit a second serve. But other than that she was just serving too good. I'm unsure if I should have changed my positioning, but she seemed to like have a really good service day today.

Q. Talking about, obviously, you felt like that match point lingered for you into the third set. I think last year there was a similar situation here, maybe not a match point, but a match that you took a lot of learnings from when you lost here. Do you feel like -- I know it's in the immediate right now, but do you feel like you're going to be able to try and do the same here moving into Melbourne as last year?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I think I am. I don't know. For me this match, like even though I lost the match point and there's a couple tactical things that I do wrong, I did wrong today, like the number one thing is I realize I wasn't calm the entire time and that's something that I try to be good at or I tell myself that when I play well that's what I'm good at. But I feel like ever since I won Tokyo -- not Tokyo, Osaka, like even in Beijing I've been kind of frantic and losing my cool a little bit and I've been throwing my racket, so that's something that I think I need to do better on heading into the Australian Open.

Q. How do you reflect on this week in general? Like, what are the things that you feel like stick out for you, either on the court or off the court from Brisbane?
NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, I played really good matches against really high quality opponents and they have all been really tough. The turnaround time has been kind of tough on my body, I think, but I really need to get used to that because not every tournament's a Grand Slam, of course, so you never really get that resting time. But for me, I think the number one thing I can take away is just like effort. Like coming into this year I just told myself I want to try as hard as I can for every match. And my reputation is not the best in the smaller tournaments, so I definitely want to do better here and just like treat every tournament like a Grand Slam.

Q. What are your plans now? Are you going straight to Melbourne?
NAOMI OSAKA: I probably am, but I haven't talked to everyone yet. But that definitely sound like a good idea.

Q. You said the other day that you learned from the semi-final here last year about -- or I guess from the U.S. Open, I guess you said like about maybe you checked out in the match against Bencic and it kind of really bothered you going forward and you didn't want to. Do you feel like you did that here or do you feel like you did everything that you could today?
NAOMI OSAKA: That's a funny question. I feel like I did everything that I could and then my mind started making excuses for myself. So that's like I feel another level to this, like another piece to this pie that I wasn't expecting. I feel like every time I come to a conclusion, my brain's like ah-ha, you thought, I'm just going to give you like a little difficulty now. So, yeah, I feel like even my energy level in the third set was kind of messed up, you know. And I was trying to save my energy for the points, but normally I like bounce around and stuff, so I think I just need to stick to my routine and like stop giving myself a lot of excuses.

Q. Did the long like break between the second and third set, did that cool you down or anything or did it help you, do you think?
NAOMI OSAKA: I didn't win the set, Courtney. I don't think it helped me.

Q. I can't get inside your head, Naomi.
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't know what's inside my head either. I feel like it shouldn't matter, you know, because we both have the same like amount of time that we left the court -- or not -- I was longer than her, but I just mean like playing time. If she doesn't complain, I don't complain typically.

Q. You have a semi-new hitting partner that you're using now. What do you look for? What do you want in a hitting partner? Like, what makes a good hitting partner to you when you're at a tournament?
NAOMI OSAKA: Someone that hits the ball in consistently. Yeah. I don't know. I'm not too picky. It's just I hit the ball fairly hard, so literally someone that can hit the ball in the court multiple times.

Q. Have you ever been paired with someone who had a struggle of a day and you felt bad for them? Have you ever faced a situation where a hitting partner couldn't hang?
NAOMI OSAKA: I'm sorry.

THE MODERATOR: Japanese questions, please.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: I mean, in this match I feel like there wasn't that many things I could have done better. And I also think I, I don't know, like given how I came into this season, I know it just started, but I think I've been progressively getting better every match, so it was just tough for me to play her today. But I think like I can't be that hard on myself about like playing. Attitude, I'm always hard on myself, but playing-wise, I think I played pretty well. She was just extremely solid and I don't even think I hit more unforced errors than winners, so that should be a good stat for me.

I mean, he's cool. He gives me a lot of advice that I think is very helpful for me to apply during matches. He knows that I'm a percentage person, so he gives me percentages sometimes. Yeah, I think for the first tournament it was pretty good. I'm sad because I wanted to win it. But, yeah, I guess just keep moving forward.

I mean, we would have talks after. It wouldn't specifically be data, but I think he analyzes it a lot, so maybe he thinks -- not maybe he thinks, but I think he knows I don't like being overwhelmed with information, but just like the really important stuff.

I don't really know, to be honest. I just think I need to get somehow stronger in one week, just to be able to hold the line more. I think towards the end of the second she was more aggressive than me because I felt like I was near the Brisbane logo -- see, I guess I have to start lifting or something to get stronger. I don't know. I think playing, though, it really wasn't like anything that I could immediately point out, other than the third set.

Yeah, I think U.S. Open taught me a lot. I don't know. There was this new feeling of nerves, like another level of nerves that I've never felt before when I was playing in New York. So I think it's definitely kind of prepared me for Australia. I don't really know how to feel or what to expect, because you only feel it during or before your first match. So, yeah. I don't even know if I answered your question.

Oh, wow, I'm stupid, sorry. I mean, I always love Australia. Like, everyone can kind of see that. I do really well here. The European swing, I talk not that great about it, but I did have the best clay season last year. Wimbledon, I don't know her. U.S. Open, U.S. Open was U.S. Open. Like, it really kind of -- I think it made me like a more mature person in the end, like playing, even though I banged my racket more, which, sorry, Yonex, but it happens.

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