'Wanted To Kill My Opponents': Zheng On Being Left By Coach Because Of Osaka

'Wanted To Kill My Opponents': Zheng On Being Left By Coach Because Of Osaka

by Zachary Wimer

Qinwen Zheng was quite frustrated with her former coach leaving her team to join Naomi Osaka's team after she returned to tennis.

The recent match between Zheng and Osaka had many storylines except the most obvious one. Both were playing well and wanted to win the match to advance to the next stage of the event, but the Chinese player had an added motivation as well.

Before the former world no. 1 came back to the sport, Zheng worked with Wim Fissette, who used to coach Osaka before she took a break from the sport.

He then coached Zheng, and it went really well as she evolved into one of the best young players on the WTA Tour. Then, a shock came because he suddenly left her to go back to coaching Osaka as she announced her comeback to the sport for motherhood.

It was very painful for her, as she explained when the news came out. She was quite open about her disappointment with his move, and it stung for a long time, as she revealed to the Tennis Channel after beating Osaka at the 2024 Italian Open.

"If you ask me this uhh… few months before, after we break, like, one month, two months, three months, four months, I will tell you yes absolutely, I got really fired up, I wanted to kill my opponents, I want to, you know, put my frustration out. But you asked me right now, after many months 6-7 months already, I would say, you know, it’s just a normal match for me. I treat her like a usual opponent."

Still, Zheng has no ill will towards Osaka, of course, because she respects her a lot, especially as a mother who's now back in tennis. But winning the match against the Japanese player, and, by extension, her former coach, probably felt really good for the Chinese player.

"Of course, I have more respect to her because she come back as a mother. I think as a woman athlete that's really not easy, I have all the respect for all the tennis player woman who come back as a mother."

"Cause, only woman knows how difficult is that. Yeah, so I treat her like big respect like a normal opponent, nothing to think more, just me against her, and let's play, I will give my best anyway."


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