Naomi Osaka commented on her opening-round match win over Anna Blinkova in the US Open on Tuesday. The Japanese player admitted it was not easy to mentally handle the match 12 months after winning her maiden Major title on the Arthur Ashe Stadium defeating Serena Williams in the final.
"I felt nervous," admitted Osaka. "I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my life. For me, of course there is a lot of inner nerves. But I just -- someone asked me about if there's a bull's-eye earlier, and I don't feel the bull's-eye.
But I think people expect me to be nervous at this point, you know. And that's what is the most concerning part, because I like to prove people wrong. I don’t think I ever really found my rhythm, but I just fought as hard as I can.
Yeah, I mean, for me it's definitely a new feeling. Never had to come into a tournament as -- well, come into a Grand Slam. I mean, I went to Indian Wells once. So I did feel like that gave me a little bit of practice, but the amount of nerves that I felt today was completely different than in California.
Yeah, I'm kind of really glad that's over. It was kind of consistent throughout the entire match, which was very strange for me, because normally it would be, like, the first couple of games or the first set. But, yeah, it never really went away."