Osaka keeps feet on ground and opinions to herself
SUCCESS at the US Open last year has not changed Naomi Osaka, who asserts she is as awkward as ever in the locker rooms and does not have an inflated opinion of herself or her chances at this year’s Australian Open.
Osaka 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 in 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 with “small talk” with other players on the tour.
“I don’t talk to people, so I wouldn’t know what they’re thinking,” Osaka said, who meets Poland’s Magda Linette in her first-round match of the Open on Tuesday.