Last Updated on August 27, 2022
Naomi Osaka is a household name in tennis and probably, the most known female tennis player from Asia in history as she holds the record of being the first Asian female tennis player to be ranked number 1 in the world. Osaka hailed from Japan and was born on the 16th of October 1997 in Chuo-ku, Osaka.
Her father, Leonard Francois, was a Haitian-American, while her mother was a Japanese and named Tamaki Osaka. She started playing tennis at the age of three alongside her older sister, Mari, under the supervision of their father after he was inspired by watching the Williams sisters at the 1999 French Open.
In 2006, Leonard relocated to Florida to enable his daughters to access better training facilities. Osaka soon started training at the Pembroke Pines in the afternoon and with her father at night. When she clocked 15, she trained under her first coach, Patrick Tauma, at ISP academy. Two years later, she moved on to train at Harold Solomon Tennis academy and, afterward, at the ProWorld Tennis Academy to continue her development.
At 16, she was offered an opportunity to train at the Boca Raton in Florida under the United States Tennis Association (USTA) funding. Still, she refused the offer to avoid representing the U.S. at the national level and decided to represent Japan under the influence of her parents. She still lives in the U.S. and has her residence in Beverly Hills.
Osaka has gained recognition both as a tennis player and a socialist due to her incredible achievements on the court and in society. She has won 7 Singles career titles, including four Grand Slams, winning the first two in successive years at the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australia Open. Due to her great activism, significantly the Black Lives Matter, she has also received several awards and been included on the list of the most influential personalities by notable organizations such as Forbes.
The current coach of Naomi Osaka is her father, Leonard Francois, after she ended her relationship with Wim Fissette. Her father, Leonard, was her first coach and trained her for some time in 2019 when she did not have a coach. Speaking on her reunion with her father, the WTA, Osaka, was quoted as follows:
“I wanted to bring my dad back because he always makes me think outside the box,” Osaka said. “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“.
Leonard is an amateur tennis player who decided to begin coaching his daughters after discovering how much Richard Williams (father of the Willaims’s sisters) has achieved with his daughters despite having zero tennis experience. He claimed that he got the blueprint from Richards and implemented it on his daughters.
During the interim service in 2019, Leonard was able to guide his daughter to two Singles titles before she appointed another coach.
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Patrick was her first external coach after she stopped training under her father in 2008. Patrick was the head coach at ISP Academy and trained for the next six years. She developed a lot under him, which saw her not participating in ITF junior tournaments, and rather, she went straight to competing at the ITF Women’s Circuit since the age of 14.
Not much is known about Tauma; she did not win any title with him, although she finished as runner-up in four ITF tournaments.
In 2014, Osaka also went for seven months of training under Harold Solomon at his academy, Harold Solomon tennis academy.
Harold is a highly successful tennis player and coach who played professional tennis from 1972 to 1986 and won 22 Singles career titles and 1 Doubles career title. His successful career led him to a highest ranking of 5 in the world’s Singles category and 4 in the Doubles category.
He is a reputable sportsman in the U.S. and a member of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Hall of Fame, the USTA Mid Atlantic Section Hall of Fame, the D.C. Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. As a coach, he has worked with several top players and recorded huge achievements with them. His trainees include Jennifer Capriati, Mary Joe Fernandez, Shahar Pe’er, Justin Gimelstob, Eugenie Bouchard, Allie Kiick, and Jim Courier.
Osaka did not win any title under him but won her first match at a WTA Tour with Harold, where she defeated the then-world number 35, Sam Stosur.
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Naomi also worked a bit with David Taylor under the funding of the Japanese Tennis Association in 2016. And this resulted from her inability to hold on to a 5-1 in the third set at a competitive match since she did not have a coach to guide her. Her stay with David was quite short and not so significant as she appointed another coach at the start of the 2017 season.
Bajin was the first coach to record some titles with Osaka. Their relationship was fruitful as she won her first Premier Mandatory titles and Grand Slams in consecutive years. Despite these great achievements, she decided to split up with Bajin in 2019 due to depression and was reported to have said that “she could not risk her happiness for success.”
Bajin is a German tennis coach who also played tennis for a while and attained a career highest ranking of 1149 and 1180 in the Singles and Doubles categories, respectively. He was the hitting partner of Serena Williams for eight years and recorded several achievements with her. Following his success with Osaka, he was awarded the WTA Coach of the year in 2018.
He has also worked with the likes of Kristina Mladenovic, Dayana Yastremska, Karolína Plíšková, and Sloane Stephens (hitting partner).
Osaka spent a short period with Jermaine after splitting up with Bajin and later replaced Jermaine with her father. Jermaine was an ex-hitting partner of Venus Williams and also played tennis at the college level.
Wim was her last coach before she returned to her father, and according to her, they ended the relationship based on mutual agreements. Osaka and Wim had quite a successful run as she won two Grand Slams with him. Speaking on the surprise separation, Osaka said,
“It was good times with Wim, and he’s an amazing coach. 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“.
Wim is an ex-professional player and has worked with several female players whom he helped attain the world’s number 1 ranking, such as Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, and Angelique Kerber.
Naomi Osaka’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Naomi Osaka under the guidance of various coaches.
|Coaches||Years of Completion||Titles|
|Leonard Francois||2019-2019; 2022- till date||2019 Osaka Open 2019 Beijing Open|
|Patrick Tauma||2008 – 2014||–|
|Sascha Bajin||2017-2019||2018 Indians Wells 2018 US Open 2019 Australian Open|
|Wim Fissette||2020-2022||2020 US Open 2021 Australian Open|