Naomi Osaka has “proved it” that she can handle the spotlight and the stardom that comes with the success. The young Japanese had said earlier that she had the desire to prove herself on the big stage. “I’m going to be honest. I kind of got over the proving myself within that one hour I said it (smiling)”, said Naomi Osaka, at the Singapore WTA Finals. “Then I realized it probably wasn’t the right choice of words”, she added.
“I was, like, sitting down and I was, like, what do I mean when I say “prove myself”? Because if you say “prove yourself,” it means — it’s not within yourself”, It’s sort of, like, prove yourself to other people, right?” said the US Open champion. “Then I was thinking, no offense, I don’t really…I don’t want to say I don’t care what other people think, because of course you do, but, like, I don’t know. Like, I don’t ….I’m sorry”, said Naomi Osaka, struggling to find the right words for her thoughts. “I don’t, like, put other people’s expectations on myself. I put my own expectations on myself.”
Osaka said that she has learnt not to focus too much on the expectations of the media and fans, in these past few months. “I mean, of course I always want to do well”, continued Osaka. “I think everyone here wants to do well. But at the same time, I don’t want to put too much, like, burden on myself to keep having high expectations, like everyone here is the best, like, the best players in the world, and I shouldn’t expect myself to win every match.”
Naomi Osaka also said that she doesn’t really know right now if she will be nervous, playing for the first time at the WTA Finals. “I mean, for me, I hope I don’t get overwhelmed. I don’t know. You never really know how you’re gonna feel until you’re in that moment. So I can only hope that I’ll play well and I won’t get, like, nervous or anything, which I’m sure I will, but yeah, I feel like that’s all part of the process. You know me. I don’t really talk to people”, she said.
Naomi Osaka will take on fellow US Open winner, Sloane Stephens, in her first match tomorrow at the WTA finals.