Naomi Osaka: Grand Slam win key to confidence


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World number five Naomi Osaka believes last year’s victory at the US Open has helped to build further confidence in her game.

The Japanese star had never previously made it beyond the fourth round at a Grand Slam event before lifting the title at Flushing Meadows in September.

Osaka, who is priced at 9.00 to win the Australian Open, claimed a shock 6-3 6-4 victory over home favourite Serena Williams in the final in New York and she is eyeing further glory in 2019.

The 21-year-old has already made a positive start to the new campaign as she looks to build momentum ahead of the Australian Open later this month. She is the firm favourite to win the Brisbane International following the exit of defending champion Elina Svitolina on Wednesday.

The Florida resident insists her game has been buoyed after winning the US Open and hopes to carry that form into 2019.

Osaka said: “I feel like right now I’m really confident in myself, and I feel like the off-season training that I’ve been doing is really paying off.

“And I’m not sure if I would have had the same feeling six months ago. Six months ago I hadn’t won the US Open.

“My main goal is to show consistency and I’m really happy with this tournament so far.

“I (made) the semis or higher in my last four tournaments, so I think that’s something that I’m going to keep trying to do.”

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