Naomi Osaka: The media was my biggest problem in the beginning


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Naomi Osaka: The media was my biggest problem in the beginning

Naomi Osaka is aware of the media attention coming her way, since her breakthrough at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. And in a press conference in Indian Wells this week, 12 months after winning her maiden career-title at the event, she said: "I feel like I have been really blessed, in a way, because honestly, I have had media around me even when I wasn't supposed to have media around me.

So that, I kind of got used to, like, maybe a year ago, especially, like, winning here last year, and US Open and Australian Open definitely helped because that made more people come to my practices. But I feel like in Indian Wells it's a little bit more intimate compared to all the other tournaments because, like, I usually practice on Court 3, so there are people surrounding every section of the court.

I don't know. Usually, it's little kids. I don't know why I have such a soft spot for little kids. But, yeah, I mean, they're really cute." Osaka added: "The media was the biggest thing that was my problem.

No offense, guys. I'm sorry (smiling). I don't know. Ah, I guess, like -- I don't want to call them random people, but random people stop me and want to take pictures. It usually shocks me, because it's sometimes not when I'm anticipating it.

Like, if I'm at the tournament site, then I'm cool with it because I know it's a tennis tournament. But, like, if I'm just walking around in, like, a mall or something, then it just catches me off-guard."

Osaka finally commented on what her new coach Jermaine Jenkins told her in the middle of the match against Kristina Mladenovic: "I think he told me to, like, hit it in the middle instead of going for the lines too much during important points.

Just, like, to be positive. But you're going to watch it, anyway, so you'll have a clear understanding." Osaka lost to Belinda Bencic in the third round on Wednesday.