Naomi Osaka Explains Decision To Bring Back Father As Coach: 'He Always Makes Me Think Outside The Box'
"It's just nice to have him around, and it makes me remember the times when I was a kid," Osaka said of her father, Leonard Francois.
by Nick Fenley
August 04, 2022 at 9:09 pm
Naomi Osaka recently made some changes to her coaching team, and she’s explaining the rationale behind her professional decision.
During a recent Media Day event, Osaka explained why she and Wim Fissette, a tennis coach who had worked with Osaka since 2020, decided to end their partnership.
“It was really good times with Wim, and he’s a really amazing coach,” Osaka began, according to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). “We didn’t part on bad terms. I just felt I needed different energy, and at the same time, he’s a very ambitious guy. I was getting injured, and I’m sure he would have wanted to go to Wimbledon.”
“It was two different mindsets, I would say. But he’s a really cool guy still. So, [I’m] confirming that there were no bad things happening,” the tennis star continued.
After discussing the details behind her decision to part ways with Fissette, Osaka proceeded to open up about why she specifically wanted to bring her father — Leonard Francois, who had coached her up until 2018 — back onto her team to serve as her “main coach.”
“I wanted to bring my dad back because he always makes me think outside the box,” Osaka shared. “Whenever I think something is really bad, he always makes me realize that things are much more positive than they seem.”
“When I get stressed out, he starts dancing or something to make me feel better,” she warmly added. “So, it’s just nice to have him around, and it makes me remember the times when I was a kid. For right now, he would be my main coach. I would give him that title.”
This switch-up of Osaka’s team comes right in time for the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, California.
The tournament, which kicked off with the main draw this past Monday, will go on until this upcoming Sunday.
At this point, while on the subject of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, it’s worth adding that Osaka gave her father a nice shoutout following her Tuesday match, noting that she was happy to be working with him again and was grateful for his “bad jokes.”
What do you think about Naomi Osaka’s decision?