Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Must be very pleased with that.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yes.
Q. What do you think you did particularly well tonight?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I just tried to stay really positive throughout the whole thing. I know she can be really tricky, so I just didn’t really want to, like, show that I was frustrated ’cause then she probably would have, like, upped her game, so…
Q. What are the conditions like out there for you? Do you think the fast surface is something you can enjoy playing here?
NAOMI OSAKA: I think for me faster courts are better than slower courts, so I enjoy that.
But I also think, I don’t know, this is, like, my first time playing a night match here, I think. I was just really having fun and enjoying it.
Q. How much has Sascha Bajin helped you?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, a lot I would think. He’s been really positive. I feel like if you surround yourself with positive people, there’s no way you can be negative. So I’m really grateful for him.
Q. Did you choose him or was it your agent that suggested him to you or…
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, my agent suggested him. Then my parents sort of were, like, yeah. Then I was, like, okay, yeah.
I mean, like, the first day I met him, he sprained his ankle, so that wasn’t really the best thing. But, yeah, I mean, after a while we really got along, so yeah.
Q. Did you know him from being on the tour?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen him around. Also when I played Caroline once, he was with her. He was sort of like the enemy (smiling). Now he’s like a friend.
Q. Is he your only coach?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, yeah.
Q. Both coach and hitting partner or only coach?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, he hits with me, too. Wait, what am I saying? He’s a coach and a hitting partner.
Q. How has he helped your game? You said he’s a positive person. How has he helped your game with tactics and techniques?
NAOMI OSAKA: He sort of helped me with my decision making. Like certain shots, I can just — wow, I stutter a lot (smiling).
I don’t have to blast it 100%, sort of, like, picking and choosing when to go for it.
Q. Do you think you’d be a good pupil? Do you think you take things onboard very easily or is that something you have to get used to?
NAOMI OSAKA: No, I learn very quickly, but I also forget very quickly (smiling). It’s like it goes through one ear and out the other. I sort of have to practice a lot from my brain to say, Okay, this is something you have to do forever now.