18 January 2020

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka doesn't see herself as a 'top player' despite winning two grand slam singles titles

Former world no 1 tennis player Naomi Osaka has revealed she does not regard herself as a 'top player' in the women's game despite winning two grand slam singles titles.

The defending champion claimed last year's title immediately following her maiden slam victory at the 2018 US Open and is seeded third for this year's tournament.

Osaka, 22, who starts her title defence on Monday January 20 against unseeded Czech player Marie Bouzková, said: "It's funny, you guys tell me this top player thing and I never really see it like that."

Osaka rose from 72 to the top five in the world rankings in 2018, winning Indian Wells in March of that year before claiming the US Open title beating Serena Williams in the final. 

"I still feel like Indian Wells was two weeks ago, 2018 Indian Wells. It's really weird," she added.

The rising star endured a tough 2019 in which she could not replicate her successes of the previous year and suffered under the pressure.

"I guess just before everything (the success), if I lost it wouldn't be an article. Now if I lose there's news. It was tough adjusting to that," she said.

"I think I'm definitely more relaxed now compared to the US Open.

"I learned a lot there, just in a way of handling my nerves and what to expect. I'm glad I was able to experience everything that I experienced."

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