Qinwen Zheng announces “immoral” departure of coach Wim Fissette
The partnership ended suddenly and seemingly sourly, amid rumours of Fissette returning to manage Naomi Osaka’s return
Chinese No 1 Qinwen Zheng has revealed that she has split from her coach Wim Fissette, after the latter allegedly broke the terms of their contract by terminating their partnership.
Speaking to reporters in Hangzhou, China, following her gold medal victory at the Asian Games on Friday, Zheng announced that Fissette had ended the collaboration unexpectedly and had not travelled to China with Zheng as had been agreed.
All this took place against the backdrop of a rumoured reunion between Fissette and Naomi Osaka, who announced at the US Open that she would be returning to the tour in 2024 following the birth of her daughter earlier this year.
The story was originally reported by Chinese tennis writer, Bendou Zhang, who was in the press conference when Zheng broke the news.
Zheng Qinwen said after winning Gold Medal at the Asian Games that Wim Fissette had finished their partnership and going back to Naomi Osaka.— Bendou Zhang🎾 (@BendouZhang) September 29, 2023
"I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don't want to talk about this person."
It has been a short-lived partnership between Zheng and Fissette, as the pair only started working together just prior to the grass-court swing this year.
Despite initial struggles, the collaboration began to show signs of great promise, with the World No 23 winning her first title in Palermo after Wimbledon, before posting a milestone run to the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this month.
However, just weeks later, this blossoming partnership has ended in less than amicable fashion as indications suggest Fissette will return to working with Osaka to manage the Japanese player’s highly anticipated return to the tour.
Former World No 1, Osaka, was under the guidance of the Belgian coach for the last two of her four Grand Slam titles, before the pair parted ways in the summer of 2022.
Once Osaka’s return was announced, it seemed inevitable that the partnership with Fissette would be rekindled at some stage.
Unfortunately for Zheng, it has come sooner than most thought was likely.
There will be no shortage of coaches willing to team up with the rising Chinese talent, however, who is among the brightest prospects of the young players on the WTA Tour.