In an interview to El Pais, Naomi Osaka recalled her 2018 US Open final win over Serena Williams. The Japanese player managed to stay upbeat in tense moments and eventually manage to go through despite the American argued with the chair umpire.
"Everything happened very fast. Even when I look back at it, I do not remember very well all what happened. But I would say there were many emotions on all aspects", said Osaka. On how she is able to handle expectations, the 21-year-old added: "I think it's because of my personality and experience too.
The first tournament I played after winning the Australian Open was in Dubai and I lost in the first round. From then I feel little by little that I am improving. Now I am enjoying my game again, which is how I got to No. 1."
On her win over Dominika Cibulkova, Osaka concluded: "I'm just happy to get through it. I feel the most nervous during the first round and to play against Cibulkova was kind of tough for me, especially on clay. The other two times I played her was on hard.
Yeah, I feel, like -- all in all it was a good match and I didn't feel my ab flare up, so that is a positive note. The match I played against Donna Vekic helped me a lot mentally. I was thinking it's fine if I'm down 2-0 because I have been down 5-1 before and I have come back so I just need to stay calm.
Yeah, I was -- I was also kind of thinking, like, there is nowhere else I'd rather be and honestly, I train for these moments so I have to give it 100 per cent."