Osaka Splits From Coach Bajin

Osaka Splits From Coach Bajin

World number one Naomi Osaka has shocked the tennis world by announcing a split from coach Sascha Bajin.

Bajin helped Osaka to Grand Slam glory at both last year’s US Open and this year’s Australian Open and news of their parting of ways comes just two weeks after she lifted the trophy in Melbourne.

In a statement on Twitter, Osaka said: “I will no longer be working together with Sascha. I thank him for this work and wish him all the best in the future.”

Bajin, who has previously worked as a hitting partner for both Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, replied: “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.”

Having hired Bajin at the end of 2017, the 21-year-old Japanese climbed from 72nd in the world rankings to top spot in just 12 months – an unprecedented rise, hence the surprise at the announcement.

No reasons have so far been given for the split.

Osaka is due to return to action in Dubai next week when she is sure to be quizzed over the decision and her future coaching plans.

Meanwhile, Bajin’s services look sure to be in demand given what he helped Osaka achieve in a relative short space of time. The 34-year-old, unsurprisingly, was named WTA coach of the year during the off-season.

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