Speaking ahead of the BNP Paribas Open, Naomi Osaka reflected on winning her maiden career-title in Indian Wells last year defeating Daria Kasatkina in the final. "It sounds bad saying it, but it's true because I had never really gone that far in a tournament like this.
I just kept playing great around and I was just, like, I'm here for a good time, you know? But then I kept winning. I thought, 'Whoa, maybe l can actually win this tournament. It's been a really crazy ride for me.
[Indian Wells] feels like 10 years ago, in a way", said Osaka, who hired Jermaine Jenkins as her new coach. "If the people around me are very supportive. They're not talking about a title defence. We just want to keep moving forward.
It's not about defending; it's about getting another one. I don't really believe in defending. I believe in getting another one." On what it means to get a barbie in her honour, Osaka added: “It means a lot.
When I was a kid, I was playing with Barbie Dolls. It’s a little bit surreal. I know that last year, nothing like that would have come my way. This year, I have opportunities like that. Just having a chance to represent people that might not think that they could be represented, that’s a really important goal of mine."