Former Belgian tennis player and top star Naomi Osaka’s coach Wim Fissette has shed new light on the role that her father plays in taking her tennis to new heights. Naomi Osaka beat American Jennifer Brady to win the Australian Open on Saturday, becoming only the second woman after Maria Sharapova to win four career Grand Slam titles.
Osaka credits her development as a tennis player to her Haitian father, who decided to school her in the game after watching Serena Williams in action.
The Japanese beat the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who she considers as one of the biggest influencers in the game, in the semifinals at Melbourne Park this year. It was her second straight win over the American in a Grand Slam after the 2019 US Open final.
In an interview with Tennis Magazine, Fissette, who has previously worked with the likes of Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka, said that Osaka’s father gives her confidence and also helps settle her nerves ahead of big games.
“He is the one who implemented that focus on steadiness in her tennis,” Fissette said of the role that Osaka’s father played in making her the player that she is today.
Fissette added that while Osaka took a conscious decision to hire a professional coach, he makes sure that he keeps her father’s core philosophy at heart while devising game plans for the World Number 3.
“I’m very aware of his importance. I regularly talk to him about where I think we should be heading and we’re on the same page,” Fissette said, adding that he prefers having a “second opinion.”
The Belgian said that Osaka’s father is aware of her strengths and weakness and reads her game better than most. He added that her father knows “what the right approach is with Naomi” and what she needs to do in certain important passages of play.
On her signature aggressive brand of tennis, the Belgian coach said that players like Naomi Osaka should never step out on the court thinking about making “fewer unforced errors” than her opponent.