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Leaner, mature Osaka stays grounded in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Naomi Osaka is not a shy, introvert teen and the most recent Grand Slam winner in girls’s tennis says she owes her adulthood to ultimate yr’s U.S. Open triumph.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – January 11, 2019 – Japan’s Naomi Osaka trains. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Remaining September the Florida-based Jap participant beat Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows, denying her early life idol a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles name.

Identified for her humility and introverted nature up to now, Osaka left the attending media in splits at her pre-Australian Open press convention on Saturday.

“I believe it could be unhealthy if I modified in, like, 3 months,” the 21-year-old stated, brimming with smile. “I don’t in point of fact really feel that a lot other.

“I believe some of the greatest issues is that I’m going into the primary media room now, in order that’s modified. I think like I’m extra relaxed speaking to other folks.

“I’ve kind of been put within the place that I’ve to. It’s now not one thing I will steer clear of to any extent further.”

Status at the podium on the U.S. Open ready to be passed her trophy and a winner’s take a look at after defeating Williams in an ill-tempered last, Osaka heard handiest boos from an offended and annoyed crowd.

That may have wilted maximum nerves of metal however it induced Osaka to paintings extra at the psychological facets of her recreation all the way through the low season.

“One among my greatest objectives is to be extra mature, love to mature as an individual,” she stated. “And I think like in some way I’m, however in different portions I’m very, like, three-year-old mentality, ?

“I think adore it’s simply leveling that out is considered one of my greatest objectives I had all the way through the low season.”

She has additionally misplaced weight all the way through the low season however strictly to lend a hand her give a boost to her recreation.

“I need to be quicker. It’s now not for appears or anything else. I think adore it is helping me play higher. Like, I am getting to the ball quicker, and I’m now not as sore,” she stated.

Melbourne Park stays a distinct position for Osaka because the Australian Open was once the primary Grand Slam the place she were given into the primary draw in the course of the qualifiers in 2016.

Issues have modified considerably since then however Osaka isn’t getting an excessive amount of forward of herself.

“I imply, I think like, after all, I’ve to take it one step at a time. No person needs to lose within the first spherical of a slam, I believe. That may be my fast function,” she stated.

“From there, I’ve been within the 3rd spherical 100 million instances already. That may be my subsequent function. Optimistically semis after that. Then I will take into accounts, like, the finals and profitable.

“There’s such a lot of excellent gamers on this draw, I do know that everybody needs to win this event. My first, fast idea isn’t to win.”

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Osaka’s compatriot and previous U.S. Open finalist, Kei Nishikori, has had a excellent run within the leadup to the Australian Open and overcame Daniil Medvedev within the Brisbane Global last on Sunday for his first ATP name in just about 3 years.

3 times a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park, Nishikori ignored ultimate yr’s Australian Open with a wrist harm and hopes he can development additional this yr.

“That’s going to be my function this yr, to do higher within the Grand Slams, the entire Grand Slams,” the 2014 U.S. Open finalist stated. “This one, hope I will pass farther than quarter-final.”

Reporting by way of Sudipto Ganguly; modifying by way of Amlan Chakraborty

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Accept as true with Rules.

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