Zheng Qinwen gets honest on how angry she felt after coach left her for Naomi Osaka

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Zheng Qinwen admits she was really frustrated and angry after coach Wim Fissette abruptly left her to join Naomi Osaka’s team as the 21-year-old Chinese recalled wanting to “kill my opponents” during that period. 

After making what was her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the US Open, a very emotional Zheng revealed to Chinese media that she was ditched by her coach Fissette, who decided to reunite with Osaka before the start of the Japanese’s post-pregnancy comeback. 

And on Monday, Zheng met with Fissette again. Playing against four-time Grand Slam champion Osaka, world No. 7 Zheng delivered a big performance to beat the former world No. 1 6-2 6-4 in the Rome Open round-of-16. 

When asked how she felt about Fissette and the entire situation now, Zheng said she put it past her but admitted that the first few months weren’t easy. Also when addressing the Fissette case, Zheng highlighted that she only has a great level of respect and appreciation for Osaka despite the coaching situation between them.

Zheng Qinwen © Getty Images Sport – Dan Istitene

 

“If you asked me this… A few months before, after we stopped, like, one month, two months, three months, four months, I would tell you ‘Yes absolutely,'” Zheng said on Tennis Channel.

“I got really fired up, I wanted to kill my opponents, I wanted to, you know, put my frustration out. But if 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.

“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.”

What Zheng said after Fissette left her to join Osaka’s team?

During the Asian Games in late September, Chinese reporters started sharing a video in which Zheng could be seen being very frustrated and annoyed while revealing that coach Fissette left her to join Osaka’s team. 

In the interview, Zheng wasn’t hiding that she was pretty angry at Fissette and slammed his act as “very immoral.” After describing Fissette’s act as immoral, Zheng said she didn’t want to speak about him anymore.

“He 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,” Zheng said when revealing last September that Fissette decided to leave her.

Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen© Getty Images Sport – Mark Kolbe

 

Zheng wasn’t concerned about Fissette knowing her game before the Osaka match

Since Fissette – who started working with Zheng at the start of the grass season – had some insight about the Chinese’s game, some thought that may give some advantage to Osaka. But it wasn’t the case as Zheng was the one who controlled everything during the entire match.

After losing a break earned in the first game of the match, Zheng remained focused as she broke Osaka again in the fifth and seventh games to easily win the opening set. Early in the second set, Zheng claimed her third consecutive break and opened a 2-0 lead. Leading by a set and a break, Zheng just then routinely held on to her serve for the remainder of the match to complete her straight-set.

Zheng Qinwen
Zheng Qinwen © Getty Images Sport – Dan Istitene

 

Later in her presser, Zheng was asked if she was concerned that Fissette would be able to tell Osaka something that would help the Japanese. 

“Honestly, I don’t really care ’cause I think the players, especially me as a player, I try to develop my game all the time. I’m always trying to find the room that I can improve. I feel once I stop to improve is where my tennis is going down,” Zheng said in her press conference after beating Osaka.

“They have their own game plan. I have my own game plan. So let’s have a fight today and let’s see who has a better feeling, better mentality, better game today.

“Like what I say before, today the match went in my way. I feel pretty good in my serve, my return, and all my groundstrokes. So, yeah, I’m pretty happy with the win today.”

The head-to-head between Zheng and Osaka now stands at 1-1 as the Japanese previously beat the Chinese in their first meeting at the 2022 San Jose Open.



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