Naomi Osaka 2R interview

Interviews

Q. On court you said you hoped to play better in the next round. Can you talk through what you thought of your level today, what maybe frustrated you at times?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I didn't think I played bad today. I tend to analyze myself as I play. I know I could have made less unforced errors this match. So that's the biggest thing I take away after. Yeah, I think that's the number one thing I want to improve.

Q. How are you feeling in your first Grand Slam as a high seed?
NAOMI OSAKA: For me, I enjoy Grand Slams the most. I don't really feel that much different. A lot of people ask me about, like, how I feel after the US Open. But for me, it feels like a fresh start. I'm just really excited every time I play a match.

Q. I had a chance to speak with Tamara a little bit. She was basically the star-struck person to be playing you.
NAOMI OSAKA: No way.

Q. She said you were really consistent, your serve is challenging. What is it like to be the person who intimidates other people now that you're here?
NAOMI OSAKA: I feel old (laughter).

Wow, that's kind of crazy. I don't know. Hey, what did she say, though? It's, like, weird. When you play someone, like for me, when I play, like, Venus or something, I'm star struck, too. It's a bit weird when you tell me there's someone I'm playing that feels that way.

But yeah, I mean, I feel like she played really well today. Honestly, like, I didn't really watch her before this match, so I had to do a lot of research. Yeah, I mean, for me, when I go into matches like these, where I feel like I'm expected to win, I always think the other player's going to play, like, unbelievable. I feel like that mentality is helping me a lot, so...

Q. Su-Wei in the next round. What do you think you need to do to survive that matchup?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I played her once before, but it was on grass, like, three years ago. I'm trying not to say 'uhm'. I feel like playing her is going to be really hard because she slices a lot. Uhm, that's something that I'm not used to that much, so I'll have a practice a lot tomorrow.

Q. On your second serve you go all the way up. Is it working for you?
NAOMI OSAKA: On the return?

Q. When you receive second serves.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I feel like I want to attack more. That's something that I've been working on.

Q. What made you want to stop saying 'uhm'?
NAOMI OSAKA: Like, I don't really like watching my interviews, but sometimes I do because people send them to me and say they're funny, which I don't really understand.

Then I just notice, like, things that irritate me a lot about myself. I realize I say 'uhm' a lot in between sentences. Honestly, I don't really know where I'm going when I talk. There's not really a set plan. It just goes like this, all over the place.

The 'uhms' piece it together for me.

Q. Speaking about Tamara again, I think you felt she had a strong forehand, with a big swing. Did that change any way how you played today?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I mean, I knew that coming into the match. It wasn't like I started hitting with her and thought about changing my game plan. It didn't really affect me that much. Well, I feel like she was hitting more to my backhand than anything. All I tried to do was try to keep it cross-court.

Q. You had a little bit of a chat with the trainer in the second set. Everything okay? Are there any concerns there? What was bothering you?
NAOMI OSAKA: This is the times that you feel like a reporter (smiling).

No, I mean, I was able to finish and win the match, so it's not that big of a deal. It's something that I have to keep an eye on. I'm not telling you, though (smiling).

Q. Is it your back?
NAOMI OSAKA: You'll never guess. You'll never find out (smiling).

Q. Su-Wei has driven some opponent as bit crazy with their style. How do you cope with someone when they come up with some crazy stuff?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I feel like you already walk into the match knowing she's going to be doing a lot of tricky stuff. It's not anything new. I think that's the mentality I have to have.

Q. I saw you hit a dropshot again today. With the technique, when you started practicing, you said you were practicing them for fun, did Sascha try to convince you to hit it with one hand?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I mean, I've been trying to hit slices and dropshots with one hand, but it's not really that great. So I think during the match, I just do what comes more naturally, that's a two-handed dropshot. He hasn't really said anything bad about it yet. I guess I'll just wait to see what he complains about.

Q. The cameras caught you walking past Kei as he was walking off the court. Curious if you said anything to him? What was it, if you did?
NAOMI OSAKA: Mr. Nishikori (smiling).

Yeah, I mean, I told him, Nice match. He looked very tired. I was just like, Oh, excuse me, I'll get out of your way. You had a very, very long match. I had to warm up four times, so thank you for that (smiling).

Q. When you're playing a match, the match ends, how do you decide when you come to net if it's a handshake situation or more of a hugging thing?
NAOMI OSAKA: The thing is, I'm used to handshakes. Every time someone comes for a hug, I'm very confused. I'm told that I give out the worst hugs, too. It's not necessarily the best situation for me to try to hug someone unless I really know them. And I don't really know anybody, so...

Q. Your first instinct is never hug?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. I'm always, like, Thank you very much.

Q. What makes a good handshake for you?
NAOMI OSAKA: More like what makes a bad handshake. As long as they put their hand on my hand. If they reject me, that's not a good handshake.

Q. Has that happened to you?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, but imagine if it does.

Q. You said you watch your interviews. Can you think of an interview going back to when you were young that you liked, that you can recall?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, the interview, my friend -- not friends, my friend still talks about it. Sometimes I wish I could give normal interviews, like very curt and professional. You're shaking your head, but I'm serious.

I don't know. I like how everyone else does interviews. They don't waver. They just tell, like, very straight responses.

Q. I think I read that your sister said your online shopping is getting crazy.
NAOMI OSAKA: She's crazy. Don't listen to her (smiling).

Q. Is that true? What is your go-to kind of retail therapy? What are you shopping for?
NAOMI OSAKA: You're going to believe her over me? I'm right in front of you, though.

Yeah, I mean, I did go (indiscernible) one time. It was only once. She says it's every other day. It's not my fault that the people ship it in different days. That's why it makes it seem like it's coming every day. But I only ordered something once.

Q. Was it clothes or something else?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I mean, it was clothes. I'm not going to lie. It's really hard to order clothes online.

(Naomi's answers to questions in Japanese.)

NAOMI OSAKA: I feel like it's a fact. Everyone knows that I play better against the seeded players. But for me, I feel like I've been at this for a year now. Like after Indian Wells, I feel like people have wanted to beat me, and they have a reason to. I feel more accustomed to it, like sort of a veteran, but not really that extreme.

Not really. I feel like if I thought about that, I would be more stressed out. But for me, what makes me relaxed is the fact that I know that I've put in a lot of time during the off-season on my fitness. I feel like I can sort of relax and let the other person do whatever they want, and I have confidence that I can run it down. I think that's one of the biggest reasons why you think I'm relaxed.

Yeah, I mean, I watched his match, of course, because it was in front of mine. I always watch his matches, regardless. Honestly, I don't think I should be the one that's, like, saying anything about his match because he's playing Karlovic, and he has like the hardest serve. I've heard a lot of people say it's really hard to play against him because of his serve. In the first place, I think it's very impressive that he was able to break him and do well in the tiebreakers. And, yeah, I feel like the sort of pattern is a bit like the US Open because we did play on the same day, too, there. Hopefully I can do well again.

No, I mean, like I feel if you already ask, of course it gives me more power and more control. That's one of the main reasons I switched. I don't feel like I would be very confident if I switched after winning a Grand Slam, and I didn't feel that much of a difference. For sure, I think it's better for me.

Not on the first day. But as the days went on, yeah.