Professional tennis’ number one champ Naomi Osaka is seeking to ace an opponent in the court of law. According to TMZ, the 21-year-old athlete is being sued by her former coach, Christophe Jean, who claims he’s entitled to 20 percent of Osaka and her sister, Mari’s career winnings “and endorsement deals forever.” The website states $2 million is the figure in contention.
Jean states he signed an agreement with the sisters’ father, Leonard Francois, in March 2012 after the latter reportedly swapped out unaffordable coaching payments for a contract that would put the aforementioned percentage of money as it pertains to tennis into Jean’s account indefinitely.
In a statement on the matter, Osaka’s attorney Alex Spiro claims this lawsuit holds no weight. “While it comes as no surprise that Naomi’s meteoric rise as an international icon and inspiration would lead to some false claim, this silly, imaginary contract that Naomi never saw or signed—which purports to give away part of herself at the age of 14—is particularly absurd,” Spiro said as noted by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The Sun-Sentinel‘s coverage of the occurrence also outlines past instances where Osaka’s father had allegedly questionable agreements with past coaches. Money seemed to be a central factor. After Osaka won the Australian Open earlier this year, she parted ways with coach Sascha Bajin and hired Jermaine Jenkins, who used to work with Venus Williams.