Slam legend sounds off on Wim Fisette abruptly ditching Qinwen Zheng for Naomi Osaka

In September, Zheng announced that coach Fisette left her to work again with Osaka.

by Dzevad Mesic
Slam legend sounds off on Wim Fisette abruptly ditching Qinwen Zheng for Naomi Osaka
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Stobe

Former six-time Grand Slam champion in doubles Rennae Stubbs is not impressed at all with how coach Wim Fisette ditched Qinwen Zheng for Naomi Osaka. Zheng, one of the most talented and promising players on the WTA Tour, announced Fisette as her coach prior to the start of the grass season.

In September, world No 15 Zheng told Chinese media that coach Fisette "immorally broke the contract" and abruptly left her so he could start working again with Osaka. Osaka, a former world No 1, didn't play any tournaments this year but she is working on making her post-pregnancy comeback at the start of the 2024 season in Australia.

Fisette worked with Osaka in the past and the four-time Grand Slam champion wanted to reunite with her old coach ahead of her comeback. Reflecting on Fisette's decision, Stubbs said what he did was "not good" and suggested that the coach at least could have been more upfront and told Zheng at the start of their collaboration that reuniting with Osaka in the near future may be an option.

Stubbs not happy with how Fisette left Zheng for Osaka

"I think what he did was not good. Here's my thing and I would like to talk to him so I don't want to completely throw him under the bus and I haven't spoken to him.

But when you sign a contract, which he clearly did with Qinwen. And she was like 'Okay we're going to be playing the whole year, you're under contract' and then you pull the swifty and go back to Naomi. You knew Naomi was coming back, we all knew Naomi was coming back.

Naomi said she wanted to start playing at the Australian Open, this was months and months and months ago. So why would you sign that contract knowing that Naomi's probably going to come back? Like, I would have said to Q, 'Listen, if Naomi comes back and decides to play in January, I'm going back to her but I'll give you six months.'

But you have to be upfront when you're a coach in that circumstance and so to sign a contract and then go back to Naomi because I feel like she's going to win more than you are and pay me more, because clearly it came down to money because word on the street is that Wim likes the cashola.

It's like, okay, listen if that's what you want your reputation to be then good for you. But not cool. She's good either way and if she wants another coach I am currently free, well maybe let's make that happen because obviously she's got a lot of fans, myself included," Stubbs said on The Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.

Qinwen Zheng Naomi Osaka