Naomi Osaka: "I worked hard to reach this milestone"



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Naomi Osaka: "I worked hard to reach this milestone"

Naomi Osaka won her fourth career Slam at the 2021 Australian Open after beating Jennifer Brady by a score of 6-4, 6-3. The Japanese champion has never lost a Major final and this statistic only confirms the great mental strength she has always put in place when she is called to raise the level.

Osaka said: "I am very happy at the moment. I worked so hard during the preseason just to reach milestones like this. Getting to that last point to win is always very impressive, you start shaking a bit because you start thinking about all the 'and if now this or and if now that.

Today was not a good match like the one in New York, it was more a mental war, a battle of nerves. I think we were both very nervous; at least I was. Before the game, I told myself that I wouldn't play well. I shouldn't put all this pressure on myself, I should just play and fight to win every point.

Possibility of reaching the first position in the ranking? To be honest, I don't think about the ranking at all. I don't play all tournaments and my goal is to do well in the ones I participate in. This is my goal this year: to be continuous and not have too many ups and downs, especially in the central part of the season."

Naomi Osaka: "I worked hard to reach this milestone"

Osaka has triumphed twice at the Australian Open and twice at the US Open; she has therefore never won a Grand Slam on clay and grass. At both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the Japanese never went beyond the third round.

"I hope to win on clay after my successes on hard courts, because it is the part of the season that comes first. I have to adapt to these surfaces; I didn't play much on clay and grass in the Junior Tour. Example for other girls? In the past this thing gave me immense responsibility, scared me and made me nervous.

With the passage of time, however, I realized that the only thing I can do is always be myself. For me it is an honor to see boys and girls follow me and support me. I have learned over time that always being sure of yourself is not always the only way.

Both on and off the pitch, regardless of how things go. I no longer consider expectations as a burden, I live them, I just face them. I feel that no one expected certain things from me when I was younger, but now I have achieved them, I have succeeded.

Today there are - and there will always be - more pressures, but I think they also serve to increase motivation, they give you the push to do better and better."