Naomi Osaka upsetting rivals already in preparation for her return

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

No offense to Qinwen Zheng but if I was a tennis coach and had the chance to work with her or Naomi Osaka, especially if I had previously worked with Osaka, then I am choosing Osaka over Qinwen Zheng. Qinwen Zheng might be about to embark on a great tennis career. She is only 20 years old, after all, but Osaka has already won Grand Slams and is only 25 years old.

Plus, Osaka is preparing for a comeback that could put her into territory no woman has ever accomplished. No female tennis player has won a Grand Slam after giving birth. Osaka has the skills to be the first. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in that possibility?

Turns out, Naomi Osaka’s former coach, Wim Fissette does. Fissette worked with Osaka before June 2022 when Osaka terminated him. Prior to that, Fissette had coached Osaka to two of her four Grand Slam titles. He is an excellent coach and he worked with a talented player. But there was no bad blood between Osaka and Fissette when he was let go.

Naomi Osaka hasn’t played since late 2022. She wasn’t in great form before that but she also had suffered an injury which made it so she couldn’t compete. She was also pregnant and decided to take time off. But recently she has announced she will return in 2024 with her returning point likely being the Australian Open.

Wim Fissette returns as Naomi Osaka’s coach

Fissette is returning to be her coach, but in doing so he has upset Qinwen Zheng. See, Fissette was hired to be Zheng’s coach in June of 2023 and Zheng did not think the relationship was going to end so quickly. But I guess when Naomi Osaka beckons, Fissette answers.

Zheng was asked about Fissette leaving her team recently after a match in China and she said, “(Fissette) broke the contract and it is very immoral. This is his choice and I will respect that. Even though this brings some harm to me and my family. I don’t want to talk about that person right now, don’t want to talk about him.”

Tennis coaches change all the time, of course. Players fire coaches or coaches leave for some other reason. Zheng will be fine. But Fissette re-joining Osaka’s team will only make Naomi Osaka better and that in turn makes tennis better.

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