Naomi Osaka Announces Shock Split From Coach Bajin - UBITENNIS
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Naomi Osaka Announces Shock Split From Coach Bajin

The world No.1 made the surprise announcement on social media

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Naomi Osaka (image via @Sport Vision)

Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka has announced that she has ended her collaboration with coach Sascha Bajin in an unexpected move.

 

The 21-year-old confirmed her decision in a statement uploaded to her Twitter account. The Japanese player didn’t state the reason why the two have decided to go their separate ways. German-born Bajin has guided Osaka since December 2017 and has overseen her rise to the top of the sport.

“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.” Osaka wrote.

Responding to Osaka’s tweet, her former coach said that he was thankful to be part of her team. Indicating that the two might have ended their partnership on amicable terms.

“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.” Said Bajin.

In 2018 Bajin became the first person to win the WTA Coach of the Year award. Within a 13 month period, he has overseen Osaka win three titles on the tour, including two grand slams, and become the first Asian player to reach world No.1. Despite being only 34, he has been a hitting partner for some of the biggest names in women’s tennis. Including Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki prior to his work with Osaka.

“From the very beginning, she was a big hitter. I didn’t have to teach her how to hit the ball or anything.” Bajin commented about his work with Osaka during last month’s Australian Open. “Maybe it was a little bit more like telling her there are other things out there than just hitting very hard. We worked on her angles. We worked on just a little bit more of everything. Slicing. Wanting her to come in a little bit more. Just a little bit of everything.”

There has been no information given about who will replace Bajin. Osaka was set to play in this week’s Qatar Open in Doha, but pulled out due to a back injury.

Osaka’s achievements during the Bajin Era

  • At the 2018 Indian Wells Open she became the lowest ranked player, youngest (since Wozniacki at the 2010 China Open) to win a Premier Mandatory title. Also became the first player from her country to do so.
  • During 2018 she climbed from No.68 to a career-high of No.7 following her maiden Grand Slam singles title at 2018 US Open.
  • Became the first Japanese player – man or woman – to win a grand slam title
  • In January 2019 she became the 10th player in history to win the US Open and Australian Open back-to-back.
  • Following her second grand slam title, she became the first Asian player in history to reach No.1 in the sport.

WTA

Anastasia Sevastova overcomes Jelena Ostapenko in all-Latvian clash in Stuttgart

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Number 7 seed Anastasija Sevastova overcame 2017 Roland Garros champion and 2018 Stuttgart Jelena Ostapenko 6-2 4-6 6-0 after 1 hour and 49 minutes in an-all Latvian first-round clash in the Porsche Indoor Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

 

Sevastova converted seven of her fourteen break points to edge her compatriot Ostapenko in their first ever head-to-head clash at WTA level.

Sevastova will take on either Lesla Tsurenko or German wild card Laura Siegemund. The German player won her home tournament in 2017 and reach the final in 2018.

Sevastova got the first break of the match in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead. Sevastova saved two break points in the next game to hold serve for 3-1 in the fourth game. Both players fended off two break points in the next two games, but Sevastova got the break in the seventh game to take a 5-2 lead. Sevastova hit an ace to earn a set point, as she was serving for the first set at 5-2. She sealed the first set in the ninth game, after a wide return by Ostapenko.

Ostapenko bounced back by winning the first five games of the second set with a double break. The 2017 Roland Garros champion wasted two set points, when she was serving for the set at 5-1. Sevastova pulled one of the two breaks back on her fourth chance for 2-5. In the ninth game Sevastova pulled the second break back to get back on serve at 5-4 after two double faults from Ostapenko.

Ostapenko broke serve from 0-30 down in the 10th game to seal the second set 6-4 sending the match to the third set.

Sevastova broke serve in the opening game of the third set and came back from 0-40 down to hold serve to open up a 2-0 lead. Sevastova went up a double break in the third game and fended off two break points to hold serve for 4-0. Sevastova broke for the third time earning a chance to serve for the match. She held serve at love to clinch a bagel set securing her spot in the second set.

Kasatkina fights back to beat Mertens

Daria Kasatkina recovered from 1-4 and 3-5 down in the second set to edge 2018 Australian Open semifinalist Elise Mertens 7-6 (10-8) 7-5

Kasatkina earned the first break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Mertens broke straight back and held her serve in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 after saving a break point. Mertens went up a 4-1 lead and earned a set point at 6-5 in the tie-break, but Kasatkina bounced back by winning five of the next seven points to win the tie-break 10-8.

Mertens broke twice to take a 5-3 lead in the second set, but Kasatkina fought back by winning four consecutive games with two breaks in the ninth and eleventh games to win the second set 7-5. Kasatkina will face either Croatia’s Donna Vekic or Italian lucky loser Giulia Gatto Monticone.

 

 

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Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza Withdraw From Stuttgart

The draw for the women’s tournament has been redone after the two former world No.1 players pulled out.

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Simona Halep (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

The Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart has been hit with a double withdrawal after Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza pulled out for different reasons.

 

Reigning French Open champion Halep is currently suffering from a hip injury that she sustained over the weekend in his country’s Fed Cup tie against France. The Romanian played in two singles and one doubles match during her country’s 3-2 defeat.

“It happened against Garcia in the first set, when I fell down,” Halep commented about her injury on Tuesday. “I felt pain in the hip.
“If I’m not 100%, I don’t want to step on the court. I’m also exhausted mentally because I gave my everything in that tie.
“It feels bad because I gave everything. I’ve been very sad for the last two days. I’ve been through these moments many times, but I just need to relax and recover.”

Despite the setback, it is understood that the injury is not serious and will unlikely have an impact on Halep’s plans for the rest of her clay-court campaign. So far this season, the 27-year-old has won 18 out of 24 matches played. Reaching the semi-finals in Miami and the final in Doha.

“I stopped because there’s a two-week break, so it’s enough time to recover. I just want to go home and relax myself,” she said.

Halep was in a three-way race to claim the No.1 spot this week prior to her withdrawal. Now the only way Naomi Osaka can lose her top spot is if she crashes out in her opening match and Petra Kvitova goes on to win the title.

Elsewhere, Muguruza will miss the tournament for the first time since 2014 due to Gastrointestinal illness. It is the second consecutive year the Spaniard has been forced to quit the tournament. In 2018 she retired during her second round match due to a lower back injury. Muguruza recently won her first title of the season at the Monterrey Open in Mexico.

In the women’s draw, Angelique Kerber has now moved into Halep’s second seed position. Muguruza’s planned opponent Victoria Azarenka will now play lucky loser Vera Zvonareva. Meanwhile Donna Vekic, who would have played Kerber, faces Giulia Gatto Monticone.

 

 

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Amanda Anisimova Enters Winners Circle In Bogota After Edging Out Sharma

Amanda Anisimova edged out Astra Sharma to win her maiden WTA title.

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Amanda Anisimova (@mnaEN - Twitter)

17 year-old Amanda Anisimova won her first ever WTA title after edging past Astra Sharma 4-6 6-4 6-1 in Bogota. 

 

The American, who has been tipped for big things in Tennis, battled back from a set and a break down to win her first WTA title in Bogota.

It means that Anisimova is the youngest American to win a WTA title since Serena Williams in 1999 and is destined for many more titles in the future.

Meanwhile in Lugano another 17 year-old Iga Swiatek just fell short of her first title as she lost to Polona Hercog 6-3 3-6 6-3.

The match saw a nervous start as both players were going for their first title of their career. After the first five break points where converted, Sharma was the first one to hold for a 4-2 lead.

Eventually the American held herself before both women broke each other again in a very messy first set. The Australian held at the end of the set as she secured the opening set.

It was a positive start from Sharma, who was looking to do the double in Bogota after winning the doubles title with Zoe Hives yesterday.

A reassured Sharma took a 3-2 lead, breaking twice, and it was looking increasingly likely that she would be the one to claim her first singles title.

However Anisimova started to gain confidence off her serve and her movement was looking better as the match went on.

A fix on the timing of the return saw the American break twice more as she took the second set 6-4 to force a decider.

The 17 year-old then took charge of the final set as she mixed up her serving and showed a lot of confidence on the backhand side.

After saving a couple of break points, she held for a 3-0 lead as the Australian was missing simple shots as she had no clear decision making.

Eventually Anisimova remained poised and confident to secure her first ever WTA title and to become the youngest WTA winner since Serena Williams in 1999.

https://twitter.com/WTA/status/1117486116465041408

It was a mixed day for the juniors after Wimbledon Juniors champion Iga Swiatek fell short of her first WTA title after a 6-3 3-6 6-3 defeat to Polona Hercog.

The Slovenian showed more experience and grit to overcome a confident Swiatek to claim her third career WTA title.

This week’s results means now their have been 18 different winners in 18 different tournaments on the WTA tour, which is an unprecedented feat.

 

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