home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 2, 2021

Naomi Osaka

Madrid, Spain

Press Conference


6-4, 3-6, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What can you learn from your match today, especially one that ended in a defeat for you?

NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I think today for me it was quite different from the last time I lost in Miami, and I actually think I played much better here so I'm very happy about that.

I think what I can take away from this is that I tried my best throughout the entire match, and usually I feel like, I don't know, I have dips sometimes but I think I was quite neutral and I can be positive about that.

I think tennis-wise for me I felt I was too defensive in the first set. I think halfway through the second set I was able to adjust that, and then the third set honestly I feel I just started off really bad and I couldn't afford to do that.

Then the last three games I think she was just serving really well, and unfortunately I couldn't hold my serve. I wouldn't say I'm happy that I lost, but I think I learned a lot. So that's all I can hope for.

Q. Were you surprised by Karolina's intensity, especially there at the last few games of the final set?

NAOMI OSAKA: No, I wasn't surprised. I played her before, and it was three sets then too. I would say it's more impressive the way she was moving, like I want to learn how to slide like she does. Hopefully I'm able to, you know, train and learn also how to do that. Maybe it will take a couple of years of playing on clay, but hopefully I'm able to learn quickly.

Q. She's now tallied two obviously very good wins over you and Ash in the Australian Open. As you said, you weren't surprised by her. But can you kind of break down what makes her such a difficult opponent?

NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I can only say what made her tough today, because I can't remember that much in New York. But I would say it's tough playing her on clay because she hits quite a heavy forehand ball, and she uses that to dictate me around.

I would also say her serve is really good. I think I was a bit hesitant on that, though. But there is not really a big flaw in her game. I also think she's a great mover. So, yeah, she's like a really good package player.

Q. Does this week in Madrid, the two matches you played, and also just continuing to train, you know, with Wim and you talk on prep and everything, do you come out of this week feeling, you know, positive as you look towards Rome and Roland Garros, feeling like you made some progress or at least have a sense as to what needs to be done before Roland Garros?

NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I would say I have a pretty positive outlook on it, because for me my biggest things today, I know I can't control the outcome of the match but I can control my attitude and how hard I fought. For me, I thought I did that really well.

Physically I don't think I got tired. I was just, made some pretty bad decisions point-wise in really crucial moments. So I think I'll learn from that, and hopefully -- I don't really want to play her on clay anymore, but maybe next time we play, I'll make better decisions, and maybe the outcome will be in my favor that time.

I'm really happy with how I was able to talk with my team after I lost and after I came off the court. I think we were really, like, we have a plan now, so I think it's good.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I think for me clay court tennis, I think personally, I'm not sure how other players play, but I'm learning that on clay I can't afford to not swing through every ball, because that automatically takes me from offense to defense. And maybe if I start being able to move better I can risk starting to play on defense, but as of right now I think I should be the aggressor. When I was playing her in the first set, obviously I felt like I was moving side to side, especially on certain balls where I felt like I could have maybe hit through a little bit harder. Yeah, I think maybe on clay court, of course I'm not a professional clay court player, but I think on clay court it's definitely a bit more important to hit when you can.

Yeah, for me I saw a little bit of the boycott, like I saw the message that they put out. But I would say that, like, messages affected me more when I was younger and when I would see them more. I think I'm lucky, because I get a lot of messages now and most of them are positive. Honestly, I don't even look at them, because I feel like for me I have learned that I don't expect anyone to be able to do what I can't do myself, and so I put that logic into like whenever someone bets on me and they lose money. Like if they can't play tennis the way I can play, then I really don't, like, care about what they say. Yeah, I think it's good that the organizations are acknowledging it, and hopefully they are able to do more. I was kind of thinking once that they should ban the IP address of whoever bets or whatever, whoever sends hate messages. Yeah.

Yeah, I would say definitely everyone's goal is to do well at French, and these tournaments are called warmup tournaments, and of course we all come here to win and do well at these tournaments too, but I would prefer to peak at the French, maybe not do that well at the other tournaments and peak at the French than as opposed to winning this tournament and then kind of going downhill. But I feel all in all like I'm learning a lot. I learned a lot today, and hopefully I can just keep practicing and keep applying and hopefully play more matches in Rome than I did here (smiling).

Yeah, I feel like I'm able to gauge when I'm being too defensive, but it's a bit harder on clay court because I feel it comes right on the first ball. So, say, if I were to serve and she hits a return, I would have to immediately be aggressive on that first ball. It's a bit tough, especially on clay with the bad bounces, for me, like, gauging the timing, but I think it's something I'm super aware of now. Hopefully the next match that I play I'm able to turn that switch on faster.

Yeah, I think compared to last year I'm more aware of myself and I'm more sort of at peace. I know the result last year I got deeper in this tournament, but I feel like mentally I'm more, like I can adjust better. I also think that with Wim we have been talking a lot and he's teaching me. Maybe I'm learning a bit slowly, but I do think we're improving, and hopefully I'm able to show you guys that. Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297