Racquet does all her talking
SUCCESS at the US Open last year has not changed Naomi Osaka, who claims she is as awkward as ever in the locker rooms and doesn’t have a high opinion of herself or her chances at this year’s Australian Open.
Oaska said she would be taking her campaign at Melbourne Park “one step at a time” and did not have an eye on the ultimate prize, having not progressed past the fourth round of the Australian Open from three previous attempts.
The 21-year-old claimed a maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last September with victory over Serena Williams in the final, but said aside from having more people ask for photos, her life had largely remained the same.
“For the most part I’ve just been doing the same things, which are, like, practising, going to the gym,” Osaka said.
“I mean, I feel the same. I think it would be bad if I changed in, like, three months.”
Osaka said while she had grown in confidence speaking to media, she was still hesitant talking with people one-on-one and struggled to “small talk” with other players on the women’s tour.
“I don’t talk to people, so I wouldn’t know what they’re thinking,” Osaka said when asked whether locker room chat suggest Williams was the player to beat at this year’s Australian Open.
Osaka – who finished last year with a world ranking of No.5 – meets Poland’s Magda Linette in her first round match of the Australian Open on Tuesday, an opponent she lost to when the pair last met in Washington DC in July. “I thought that she played really well. She’s a very consistent player. She doesn’t really miss balls,” Osaka said of Linette.
HUMBLE: Naomi Osaka isn’t getting ahead of herself as she prepares for her Australian Open first round match on Tuesday.