Despite the drama, Naomi Osaka recalls Grand Slam triumph with a smile

by: Matt Cronin | September 20, 2018

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WATCH—Naomi Osaka back in action in Tokyo: 

Naomi Osaka has no complaints as she reflects on her victory at the US Open, and seemingly feels no pressure either.

It has been a week and a half now since she won her first Grand Slam title and was almost in tears, boos coming from fans at the trophy ceremony about the penalties given to Serena Williams during the final. But she says she's still happy.
"I feel like there was just a lot of emotions. I couldn't really pinpoint it at the time, I just felt very overwhelmed,” said Osaka, who is now ranked No. 7. 

“I’m grateful that people care or sympathize but I don't really think there was anything to be sad about. 

“I don't feel like I would've liked to savor the moment more—I think I do things my own way and everyone is different in their own way, so I don't really have any regrets."

This week at Tokyo, she picked up where she left off, cruising 6-2, 6-1 against Dominika Cibulkova.

"I didn't really feel pressure, I felt more excitement because I knew that a lot of people were watching," Osaka said about playing in front of the Japanese fans.

The 20-year-old got her first title win this season at Miami, but it took her a few more months to find any consistency again. Now she is on a roll, very calm and forceful, and says she can stay on it.

“I’ve played a lot more matches between then and now," she said. “I’m a little bit more mature now, so of course having that experience helps—and being more confident in yourself too.”

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