In July, Naomi Osaka tossed the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger stadium. In a press conference in Toronto, the Japanese described how the experience was like. “That day was really nerve racking for me because I really didn’t want to be on ESPN for top 10 worst throws.
So, yeah, I mean, honestly if I — I don’t want to gauge my nerve, like, my nervous feelings, but I think I was more nervous for that than for the US Open final. Like, I was sweating, the ball was like slipping out of my hand.
And I was like, Wow, this is how it’s really going to happen. But, yeah, I was really happy when it didn’t turn out as bad as I thought it was going to,” said Osaka. “For me, an event like that, it’s just — it kind of broadens my mind.
Like, I saw how other athletes — I like meeting athletes from different sports and just interacting with them, because everyone is sort of different the way they warm up, the way they kind of carry themselves. So for me, that was the highlight.”
Analyzing her season, Osaka added: “The past is, like, let’s delete — okay. Not delete, but let’s not count clay court and grass, and also Indian Wells, Miami. Actually, no. Indian Wells wasn’t that bad for me.
We can count Indian Wells. Just don’t count Miami. So that entire period, I think I was just way too hard on myself, which is due to the fact that I’m a perfectionist. Like, I could hit one hundred balls right, and then the one ball that I hit wrong is the thing that I think about the entire time. And honestly, I’m just learning how to not be that way and how to just kind of chill on myself.”