Japan’s Naomi Osaka, newly crowned world number one, has split from her coach Sascha Bajin just over two weeks after completing back-to-back Grand Slam triumphs at the Australian Open.
Osaka, who made history by becoming the first Asian to hold the top ranking after beating Petra Kvitova in the Australian Open final in January, had worked with the German coach for just over a year.
In a post on Twitter, the 21-year-old announced the breakup, and Bajin followed the tweet with a response.
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.
— sascha Bajin (@BigSascha) February 11, 2019
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 and Bajin began working together in late 2017 and enjoyed a breakthrough 2018, moving from 72nd in the world to the top of the WTA rankings.
In that preiod she won the prestigious Indian Wells tournament before clinching her first Grand Slam crown beating Serena Williams in the final of the US Open- a victory very much remembered for its controversy. Later that year, Bajin was named WTA coach of the year.