News 12 january — 17:51

Leaner, mature Osaka stays grounded in Melbourne

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Naomi Osaka is no longer a shy, introvert youngster and the newest Grand Slam winner in women's tennis says she owes her maturity to last year's U.S. Open triumph, Euronews reports.

Last September the Florida-based Japanese player beat Serena Williams at Flushing Meadows, denying her childhood idol a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Known for her humility and introverted nature in the past, Osaka left the attending media in splits at her pre-Australian Open press conference on Saturday.

"I think it would be bad if I changed in, like, three months," the 21-year-old said, brimming with smile. "I don't really feel that much different.

"I think one of the biggest things is that I go into the main media room now, so that's changed. I feel like I'm more comfortable talking to people.

"I've sort of been put in the position that I have to. It's not something I can avoid any more."

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