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Wednesday, 5 July 2017
21:06 PM BST

Naomi Osaka: Second round

Naomi Osaka speaks to the media after the 6-1, 0-6, 6-4 win against Barbora Strycova

Q. It was obviously a tough one. Walk us through the match and how you managed to come out on top in the end.
NAOMI OSAKA: For singles, right?

Q. Yeah.
NAOMI OSAKA: I'm just thinking about the doubles (smiling).

Well, in the first set I feel like -- like before the match I had a clear plan of what I was supposed to do in order to win. In the first set I feel like I executed that really well.

In the second set, when she started serving the first point, I think I did what I continued to do what I did in the first set, and then I got a little bit nervous. I felt, like, my nerves were rising. So I tried to relax a little bit. Like, relaxing wasn't a good idea because she, like, started doing stuff. I started panicking.

And then the third set I just really tried to focus and have, like, no regrets.

Q. You made it to the third round of every slam now on your first try, which is pretty good. How do you find yourself getting comfortable at these tournaments so quickly? At least that's what it looks like on paper.
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, that's, like, a good interpretation, I guess. I mean, if I could get to the third round on the second try, too, that would be cool.

I'm not really sure, actually. I just feel like Grand Slams are places that, for some reason, I feel myself try like way harder than normal. It just feels like a completely different thing from normal tournaments for me, so I feel like the occasion brings out better shots and stuff. Yeah.

Q. How does Wimbledon feel compared to the others? What maybe stood out to you the most in this experience?
NAOMI OSAKA: It's grass (smiling). It looks really pretty from, like, a high place. And I think they use the space really well. Like, I feel like the courts are, like, next to each other, but it's really neatly organized. I don't know how to explain it. It's just pretty to look at, I think.

And, yes, I'm kind of new here. I just feel like I'm soaking everything in right now, and hopefully I won't, like, be -- how do I explain it? Like I won't take it for granted that much.

Q. I thought it was pretty interesting that you said you play better at the slams. Could you go into that a little bit more? You said you have better shots. How so? Do you find mentally you're more focused? Do you find you're more explosive in your movement and faster? Just talk about that.
NAOMI OSAKA: Hmm. Well, I feel like everyone pays more attention to the Grand Slams. And maybe, like, subconsciously, like, I try harder. I'm not saying that I don't try in the other tournaments, because that would be very bad.

Yeah, I have totally forgot what the question was.

Q. Why do you play better at slams?
NAOMI OSAKA: Why do I play better? No, the thing is though maybe the draw is good for me, too. Because the last two slams it's not like I did good, you know. I just feel like I play better when there is more people watching.

Q. You're a budding photographer. Around the grounds at Wimbledon, where is the best spot? Like if you could have your camera and roam around, where is the best spot to get the photos you would like to see?
NAOMI OSAKA: That's some pressure, budding photographer. I haven't been on Centre Court.

Q. At all?
NAOMI OSAKA: No. But, like, the players restaurant, it has a really good view of all the other courts, and I think it's really pretty. And then, yeah, I think Centre Court.

I haven't really picked up my camera for a while, because I'm really trying to focus on my tennis, and I think that's working out. So hopefully I won't abandon my camera.

Q. You get to play Venus next. She mentioned that you play a similar game to hers.

Q. Yeah. How does that feel to hear that?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I'm kind of honored, because I don't think I would have started playing if Venus and Serena weren't, like, there for me growing up.

Yeah. I mean, it's kind of weird to hear that she, like, maybe she even talked about me. I don't know (smiling).

Q. Same idea about Venus' role, getting you here, indirectly or directly, how much inspiration you took from her and Serena? Especially, in particular, Wimbledon memories? This was always her best spot in Venus' career.
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah, I'm kind of more of a Serena person. I mean, I like super love Venus, too, but Serena was, like, my No. 1. Like, the most -- one of the things I remember with Serena playing Heather Watson here, and I was screaming at my TV, like, Come on, Serena, you can do it.

But, like, Venus, too, I remember like when me and my sister used to train, like, at public courts and stuff, random people would be, like, Are you the next Venus and Serena?

I feel like they had a great role in us growing up. I always wanted to be Serena.

Q. You relate to her as the younger sister also in your family?
NAOMI OSAKA: Yeah. And we gotta stick together, you know (smiling).

Q. Do you think you could become the next Serena or Venus?
NAOMI OSAKA: I don't think anyone can become the next Serena and Venus. I feel like they're, like, legends, you know. I don't think it's possible with the way tennis is now. I just feel like I want to do the best that I can and hopefully that's enough.

Q. You said you're honored to kind of hear that your name came out of Venus' mouth, but you're going to have to play her. It could be on a big court, it could be on Centre Court. How do you prepare for that match, and how do you put that respect that you have for her aside and try and win a match?
NAOMI OSAKA: Well, I kind of feel like I have been preparing for this, like, my whole life. But I was supposed to play her in Auckland. So unfortunately that didn't happen. But I was kind of, like, prepared then. So I feel like maybe that was leading up to this.

Playing her on a surface which is, like, one of her best at a tournament which is one of her best, I'm, like, really humbled to be able to come here from watching her on the TV.

I'll just try my best and hopefully not get too, like, nervous.