Naomi Osaka's attorneys ask for coach's case to be dismissed by courts

Naomi Osaka's attorneys ask for coach's case to be dismissed by courts

A lawsuit alleges that, in 2012, Osaka's father had agreed to give her former coach 20 percent of the sisters' future earnings in return for free coaching.

Naomi Osaka's attorneys have asked for a former coach's lawsuit to be dismissed by a Florida court.

Florida-based Christophe Jean, who coached Naomi and her sister, Mari Osaka, as teenagers, recently filed a suit alleging that, in 2012, their father had agreed to give Jean 20 percent of the sisters' future earnings in return for free coaching.

A filing this week by Osaka's attorneys in the Florida courts, obtained by TENNIS.com, rejects the complaint. It argues that the agreement was invalid because the sisters were under 18 at the time, and also cites legal flaws in the wording of the contract. 

It also asks the court not to recognize the coach's claims on alternative grounds, arguing that neither the agreement or the relationship between the parties establishes that there was a specific financial arrangement.

The coach is asking for $2 million in the claim. 

The Sun-Sentinel detailed the Osakas' relationship with Jean, saying he trained the sisters for two years before they left with no word. The story also has accounts from other coaches, indicating that financial constraints meant the family frequently had problems paying for lessons, but the sisters' talents led to them often being given free or almost free coaching.

Naomi Osaka has had a steep rise to prominence since winning the 2018 US Open, following up her maiden Grand Slam title with a victory at the Australian Open and reaching No. 1 in the rankings.

Osaka declined to comment on the suit when it became public during Miami. "I'm not allowed to say anything," she said.

The 21-year-old has earned more than $10 million in prize money and several million more from sponsorships, and just announced a new partnership with Nike. She is next scheduled to compete at Stuttgart.