'She's Going To Win More Grand Slams': Osaka's Coach Optimistic About Future

'She's Going To Win More Grand Slams': Osaka's Coach Optimistic About Future

by Nurein Ahmed

Wim Fisette remains confident that Naomi Osaka can still win Grand Slams in the near future despite a challenging start to the new season.

Osaka rejoined the WTA tour at the start of 2024 after being away for nearly 15 months. The Japanese star initially took an indefinite break at the end of the 2022 season to recuperate from injury before extending her hiatus in 2023 with the pregnancy announcement.

The four-time Grand Slam champion gave birth to a baby daughter in July 2023. It didn't take her long before she hit the practice courts with the intention to compete in 2024.

Osaka eventually made her comeback in Brisbane, reuniting with Fisette. The Belgian is currently in his second stint coaching Osaka. He worked with Qinwen Zheng while the Japanese star was on maternity leave before leaving the Chinese player's camp in controversial circumstances.

In an episode of the AO Show titled The Sit-Down, the 44-year-old assessed Osaka's chances of returning to the winner's podium at Grand Slam level. The pair won two Grand Slams together, at the 2020 US Open and the 2021 Australian Open.

"She has won her four Grand Slams and she played amazing tennis but coaching her, I feel there's a lot more to do. I do feel that if she if he keeps making steps forward that that's the results going to be that she's going to win more Grand Slams. That's at least the goal and that's where we as a team really believe in."

Fisette is a former ATP pro, but his playing career was hardly anything impressive when compared to his second career as a coach. The Belgian rose to prominence, coaching some of the most successful WTA players of the last two decades.

His coaching credentials are absolute, and the players certainly knew that they were destined for instant success, especially at the Grand Slam level. Fisette has worked with former World No. 1s such as Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, and currently Naomi Osaka.

Although some of these players were not ranked as World No. 1 at the time of his stewardship, he still managed to steer them to major titles. Other notable WTA players who enjoyed a productive run at the top level under his guidance include Sabine Lisicki and Johanna Konta.

But if there is one tennis icon that Fisette wanted to coach, it was Maria Sharapova. The Russian won five Grand Slams during her illustrious career, which ended quite early because of injuries.

In the same episode, the decorated coach explained that Sharapova was his "dream" player and that he would have been a "valuable" coach, especially in the final six years of her playing career.

"My dream is to actually coach – or I thought the highest possible I could achieve for to coach – (is) Maria Sharapova. She was such an interesting player."

"She was also like an unbelievable good player. But yeah, I felt like I would have been super excited to coach her and to try to make her a better player… especially (in) the last five or six years of her career. I think I could have been a valuable coach for her."


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