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Defending champion Osaka - "Last year I was fearless"

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on January 21, 2020 - Duration: 00:34s

Defending champion Osaka - "Last year I was fearless"

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka feels in a different mental place to last year

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Defending champion Osaka - "Last year I was fearless"

SHOWS: MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA (JANUARY 18, 2020) (TENNIS AUSTRALIA - FOR NEWS PURPOSES ONLY.

NO ARCHIVE.

NO RESALES) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NAOMI OSAKA SAYING: "Last year, I feel like I was young.

I was just this young kid that was going out and my goal was to win and I wasn't going to let anything stop me.

And I feel like now I like appreciate more every single win because I know what it took to get it.

So of course, I want to win every match and I want to go out there and do that.

And that's what I'm here for.

But I think maybe last year a little bit more fearless." STORY: Australian Open women's defending champion Naomi Osaka says she has grown a lot in the last year but is not as fearless as she was after hitting the spotlight with her two Grand Slam victories.

The Japanese 22-year-old won the U.S. Open in 2018 and followed it by taking the Australian crown last year in Melbourne.

But her form then nosedived and she had a disappointing defense of her U.S. Open title, losing in the fourth round to Belinda Bencic.

She subsequently suffered early exits at the French Open and Wimbledon.

With new coach Wim Fissette of Belgium in her camp she is gearing up to defend the Australian title when the tournament starts on Monday (January 20).

Osaka had been without a coach since September, when she split with Jermaine Jenkins.

Jenkins was himself a replacement for Sascha Bajin, who Osaka ditched in February, weeks after winning her first major at Melbourne Park.

(Production: Oliver Regan)

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