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US Open Winner Naomi Osaka Speaks Out On Controversial Serena Williams Match | TODAY

August 30, 2019


CONGRATULATIONS, NAOMI. NO MORE BOOING.>>AND U.S. OPEN CHAMP, NAOMI OSAKA JOINS US NOW. GOOD MORNING AND CONGRA CONGRATULATIONS.>>THANK YOU.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR WIN. YOU’RE THE U.S. OPEN CHAMP. YOU’RE SO YOUNG. FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW TENNIS AS WELL AS OTHERS, YOU CAME OUT FROM NOWHERE AND HAD THIS INCREDIBLE TOURNAMENT. HOW ARE YOU FEELING THIS MORNING? IS IT STILL SINKING IN?>>I’VE NEVER BEEN ON A TALK SHOW BEFORE, SO –>>WE’RE YOU’RE FIRST?>>YEAH.>>I’M HAPPY TO BE HERE. IT STILL FEELS A LITTLE SURREAL. I THINK IT’S SLOWLY SINKING IN.>>I THINK WHAT WAS SO COOL, WHEN YOU WERE IN THIRD GRADE, YOU WROTE A PAPER ABOUT SOMEONE YOU IDOLIZED AND THAT WAS SERENA WILLIAMS. YOU COLORED IT IN. IT WAS A WHOLE THING. HOW DID IT FEEL KNOWING YOU WOULD BE PLAYING CENTER COURT ACROSS FROM HER? WHAT DID YOU SAY TO YOURSELF TO GIVE YOU THE CONFIDENCE TO PLAY THAT MATCH?>>I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH. I PLAYED HER ONCE BEFORE IN MIAMI. AND IT DIDN’T FEEL THAT REAL BECAUSE IT WAS A GRAND SLAM THIS TIME. AND JUST WATCHING HER PLAY IN GRAND SLAM FINALS BEFORE WHEN I WAS A KID, IT FELT REALLY DIFFERENT. COMING INTO THIS MATCH I WAS REALLY NERVOUS.>>DID YOU THINK, THERE’S SERENA. OR DID YOU KEEP YOUR BRAIN FOCUSED IN ANOTHER WAY?>>WHEN I WAS, LIKE — RIGHT BEFORE I WAS WALKING ON TO THE COURT, I WAS FREAKING OUT A LITTLE BIT. WHEN I WENT ON TO THE COURT, IT DIDN’T FEEL LIKE SERENA. IT FELT LIKE SHE WAS ANOTHER PLAYER.>>YOU HAD A GREAT MATCH AND A GREAT TOURNAMENT. PEOPLE WERE TALKING ABOUT YOU FOR TWO WEEKS AT THE U.S. OPEN. YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY SOME STUFF WENT ON ON THE COURT DURING THE MATCH. I MEAN, FIRST OF ALL, YOU’RE THE OPPONENT. YOU’RE SITTING THERE, TRYING TO PLAY YOUR GAME. WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND? DID YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING BETWEEN SERENA AND THE REF? COULD YOU HEAR IT?>>I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON BECAUSE I WENT TO THE BACK AND I HAD MY BACK TURNED. AND BEFORE I KNEW IT, HE WAS SAYING THERE WAS A GAME PENALTY. SO, I WAS A LITTLE CONFUSED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE THING.>>AND THERE WAS A CHORUS OF BOOS TARGETED, I THINK, AT THE UMPIRE. BUT IN YOUR MIND, YOU DIDN’T KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. WHAT WERE YOU FEELING FROM THE CROWD IN THOSE MOMENTS?>>WELL, I FELT A LITTLE SAD BECAUSE I WASN’T REALLY SURE IF THEY WERE BOOING AT ME OR IT WASN’T THE OUTCOME THAT THEY WANTED. AND I ALSO COULD SYMPATHIZE BECAUSE I’VE BEEN A FAN OF SERENA MY WHOLE LIFE. AND I KNEW THAT HOW BADLY THE CROWD WANTED HER TO WIN. I DON’T KNOW. I WAS JUST REALLY EMOTIONAL UP THERE.>>IT WAS EMOTIONAL. I MEAN, SIDE-BY-SIDE, THERE YOU ARE. THIS IS THE MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER. YOU’VE BEEN WORKING FOR THIS SINCE YOU WERE 3 YEARS OLD. AND THERE’S YOUR MOMENT. AND EVERYBODY’S CRYING. HOW DID YOU FEEL? WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN SERENA SAID, NAOMI, YOU DID IT? THIS IS YOUR MOMENT.>>I FELT REALLY HAPPY BECAUSE I FELT LIKE SHE KNEW THAT I WAS CRYING. AND SHE WAS SAYING SOME THINGS AND IT JUST MADE ME HAPPY OVERALL.>>ONE OF THE MOST POIGNANT THINGS THAT HAPPENED DURING THE TROPHY CEREMONY. THEY INTERVIEWED YOU. WE’RE GOING TO PLAY A TINY BIT OF IT. I THINK IT STRUCK A LOT OF US. TAKE A LOOK.>>HOW DOES THE REALITY COMPARE WITH THE DREAM?>>I’M GOING TO SORT OF DIFFER FROM YOUR QUESTION. I’M SORRY.>>NO PROBLEM.>>I KNOW THAT EVERYONE WAS CHEERING FOR HER AND I’M SORRY IT HAD TO END LIKE THIS.>>YOU SAID A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL THINGS. BUT YOU SORT OF APOLOGIZED FOR DOING WHAT YOU HAD SET OUT TO DO IN A WAY. TELL US ABOUT THAT MOMENT.>>WELL, I DON’T KNOW. I JUST FELT LIKE EVERYONE WAS SORT OF UNHAPPY UP THERE. AND I KNOW THAT IT WASN’T REALLY, LIKE — THE ENDING WASN’T HOW PEOPLE WANTED IT TO BE. IN MY DREAMS, I WON IN A VERY TOUGH, COMPETITIVE MATCH. I DON’T KNOW. I FELT VERY EMOTIONAL. AND I FELT LIKE I HAD TO APOLOGIZE.>>WHEN YOU LOOK NOW, AND NOW, I’M SURE YOU’VE READ AND LEARNED WHAT THIS CONTROVERSY WAS ABOUT, DO YOU HAVE AN OPINION ABOUT WHETHER THE UMPIRE DID THE RIGHT THING. WHETHER SERENA DID THE RIGHT THING? NOW THAT YOU KNOW THE FACTS, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT?>>WELL, I’M NOT REALLY THAT 100% SURE BECAUSE I KIND OF HAVEN’T REALLY HAD TIME TO LOOK TOO MUCH AT THE NEWS. AND I’VE BEEN, LIKE, GOING ALL OVER THE PLACE.>>YEAH.>>SO, I CAN’T FORM AN OPINION. I WANT TO WATCH EVERYTHING AND I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. THIS IS SORT OF ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS THAT’S HAPPENED TO ME.>>CAN WE SHOUT OUT YOUR MOM WHO IS

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