Thursday, August 22, 2019 | ePaper

World number one Osaka in shock split with coach

  • Print


AFP, Tokyo :
World tennis number one Naomi Osaka has split from her coach Sascha Bajin just 17 days after completing back-to-back Grand Slam victories at the Australian Open.
"Hey everyone, I will no longer be working together with Sascha. I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future," the 21-year-old Japanese tweeted in a shock announcement. Bajin, a former hitting partner to Serena Williams, responded: "Thank you Naomi. I wish you nothing but the best as well. What a ride that was. Thank you for letting me be part of this." Osaka, who became the first Asian to hold the top ranking after beating Czech Petra Kvitova in the Melbourne final on January 26, had worked with the German for just over a year.
No reason was given for the surprise decision to part ways, but Japanese media cited Osaka's management company IMG in reporting that there had been a breakdown in the player's relationship with the coach since the start of the year. According to Japan's Nikkan Sports, some practice sessions with Bajin at the Australian Open lasted just 10 minutes and she sometimes hit without him being present.
Osaka, who is scheduled to compete in Dubai next week, began sounding out potential replacements late last year, local media reported.
The Japanese player captured her first Grand Slam crown by stunning Williams at last year's US Open in a final remembered as much for the American's astonishing rant at the chair umpire following a coaching violation. Based in the United States, Osaka linked up with Bajin in late 2017 and enjoyed a breakthrough year, shooting from 72 in the world to the top of the women's rankings.
During that period she won the prestigious Indian Wells tournament before scooping her first major in New York, while Bajin was named WTA coach of the year.

More News For this Category

Liu, 12, set to become youngest Canadian Women's Open starter

Liu, 12, set to become youngest Canadian Women's Open starter

AFP, Los Angeles :Amateur golfer Michelle Liu hasn't yet hit her teens, and says it's "crazy" to think she'll be teeing it up on Thursday in the Canadian Women's Open.Liu,

Top seeds Paire, Shapovalov reach Winston-Salem 3rd round

Top seeds Paire, Shapovalov reach Winston-Salem 3rd round

Top-seeded Benoit Paire reached the third round of the ATP Winston-Salem Open Tuesday, beating Prajnesh Gunneswaran 6-3, 7-5.France's Paire, ranked 30th in the world, avenged a loss to India's Gunneswaran

Paralympic chief hails Tokyo 2020 prep but hotels 'biggest concern'

AFP, Tokyo :The Paralympics chief has said the 2020 Games are "on track," but raised alarm bells over a dearth of accessible hotel rooms in Tokyo with only one year

Brazilian Elkeson earns landmark China call-up

Brazilian Elkeson earns landmark China call-up

China named Elkeson in their squad Wednesday for their opening World Cup qualifier with the Brazilian poised to become the first without Chinese ancestry to play for the country.The move

The ownership group of the new St. Louis soccer franchise poses for a photo after the announcement on Tuesday that St. Louis has been awarded a major league soccer expansion team. They are from left: Patty Taylor, Jo Ann Taylor       Kindle, Carolyn Kindle Betz, and Chrissy Taylor.

The ownership group of the new St. Louis soccer franchise poses for a photo after the announcement on Tuesday that St. Louis has been awarded a major league soccer expansion team. They are from left: Patty Taylor, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, Carolyn Kindle Betz, and Chrissy Taylor.

Murray falls to Sandgren as singles comeback continues

Andy Murray on Monday fell in the first round of the ATP Winston-Salem Open, where the three-time Grand Slam champion was giving his surgically repaired hip just its second test

Jahurul eyes Test return after six years hiatus

Jahurul eyes Test return after six years hiatus

Following his consistent performance in the domestic league and various level cricket, Jahurul Islam Omee has set a target to return to the national team, preferably in longer version format

Serena to return to Auckland for Aussie Open warm-up

Serena to return to Auckland for Aussie Open warm-up

AFP, Wellington :Serena Williams announced Tuesday she will warm-up for January's Australian Open at the Auckland Classic, a tournament that has mixed memories for the American superstar.Williams slumped to a

Balotelli signs for home town team Brescia

Mario Balotelli will return to Italy with home town team Brescia after it was confirmed on Sunday he has signed for the newly-promoted club. The Italian forward has penned a

Miller-Uibo sparkles as Blake shows he is not spent force

Miller-Uibo sparkles as Blake shows he is not spent force

Bahamas star Shaunae Miller-Uibo came from behind to overhaul home hope Dina Asher-Smith and win a star-studded women's 200 metres at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting on Sunday.Asher-Smith fell just