Naomi Osaka's coach Wim Fissette and Jennifer Bradys' coach Michael Geserer met with the press on the eve of the Australian Open final to discuss their teams' final preparations and reflect on the growth and achievements of their respective players.
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Fissette on Osaka's ability to find her best tennis in clutch moments:
"She surprises me every day. Honestly, the way she has been handling tough situations, I mean, we speak about here at the Australian Open, but we also speak about last year, with the US Open and all the things she has done and the extra stress that came with that.
"How she's dealing with those situations is spectacular, I think. And here, again, the way she goes into a match playing with Serena, the mindset she has, like, the happiness, yeah, the coolness during that match, the big serves at the most important moments, the way she serves out the match.
"It's just amazing. Certain things you can train, but these are things that are just very natural. I learn every day from her. Also, the way, which perspective she's looking at the match. I think it's very interesting."
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"The past ten years I have been learning from a lot of players, how they do certain things, but I'm definitely learning a lot from Naomi."
Fissette on Osaka's biggest improvements in Melbourne:
"From the baseline, I think she's more consistent but on the other hand also even more aggressive than in the past, especially changing directions a little bit better than in the past.
"Big point of our focus was her return. And the match yesterday against Serena, bringing a lot of balls back into play and then putting the pressure on the opponent to always have the feeling of having to win every point."
More from @wimfissette on the work that’s been done on Osaka’s return game, which all starts with a change in mindset.#AusOpen pic.twitter.com/oGxkSGwZTh— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 19, 2021
Fissette on Osaka's attitude throughout the tournament:
"She knows the experience of the past years when her attitude is good, her mind is very clear what she needs to do, what she wants to do, and then she plays well.
"So the base of playing really well is a good attitude. Doesn't mean you cannot be negative at some point. It's only human or normal to be frustrated maybe at one point, but to reset immediately, that's a very important one.
"It's not something we had big conversations about, but it's a daily topic. And it's more coming from Naomi that she wants to be that person that always behaves well on the court, that kind of a role model also for younger players."
Fissette on Osaka's team growing closer over the last 12 months:
"For me, during the Australian Open last year, she looked very nervous to me, she was under pressure, and she only looked like that because she was not expressing her feelings. When I asked before the Gauff match how she was feeling, and she told me she was okay, everything was good, she was obviously not. She was completely blocked by her emotions in that match.
"Gaining the trust of a player is a day-by-day thing. And I think step by step, we were getting closer as a team. She started kind of expressing her feelings after Australia when we were at the Fed Cup in Spain.
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"She understood that we were listening and understanding her, her feelings. And if you express your feelings, obviously it helps you a lot also release tension, release pressure.
"From then on, she has been really honest with her feelings. She's expressing when she was nervous more and more, how she's feeling, what worries she has before the match, just letting it out.
"She notices that that gives us, as a team, the opportunity to offer her suggestions that might help or maybe to look at a match from a different perspective. You can only be helped if you express your feelings, and she understood that."
Geserer on how he expects Brady will handle her first major final:
"You're right, it's the first Grand Slam final, but it's a match like everything else. The approach is like a match. There will be, in every match, nerves. She will be nervous, she will feel a little pressure. That's healthy, that's good.
"She also knows how to deal with it. She will perform well. Every time she goes on court, she leaves everything on court.
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"I'm not worried about the quality tomorrow. She did just great in practice. We had a great session in the gym. We had a great session on the court.
"She's ready. She can't wait to step on court tomorrow."
Geserer on the impact of playing Saturday's final in front of a crowd, in contrast to the US Open semifinal:
"I'm not worried about the crowd. I think it's exciting. Jen thinks it's exciting. She can take a lot of energy even from the crowd. She's not hiding. She loves the crowd.
"She was looking forward so much for the Australian tournaments because she said, There is crowd, I want to feel the emotions. She just loves to perform."
Geserer on Brady's improvements since they began working together at 2019 Beijing:
"She knows how dangerous her game can be. She knows how tough she can be on court. So she understands her qualities. That's important.
"She improved in all aspects of her game, definitely. Also in terms of the athletic part, she is working great with Daniel [Pohl]. Both are doing a really super job on that. So if you see her run and slide on hard court, it's normally a joy to watch."
Geserer on coaching in his first major final:
"I'm really looking forward to the match. There is maybe even more joy than a first round. But everything else will be the same.
"Jen will be fired up. Motivational words, I don't need to say any. It's purely like we will be talking about tactics, lots of things. It's a high motivation to be in there."
Geserer on facing Osaka five months after the US Open semifinal:
"The benefit we have on Saturday, we know how Naomi is playing in big situations, right? We know what she's doing on the court. Jen will not be surprised by any of her shots.
"I personally think the more often she plays against her, the more likely it will be that the outcome is positive. She doesn't need to hold back with serve, volley, forehand, backhand. I'm not afraid of the weapons of anybody.
"I think Jen will deal pretty well tomorrow."