Naomi Osaka splits with coach Sascha Bajin after breakthrough year

Naomi Osaka and Sascha Bajin

He replied to Osaka on Twitter by saying: "Thank you Naomi".

There was a sense of shock as Naomi Osaka announced on Monday night that she had split from her coach Sascha Bajin, just 17 days after completing back-to-back Grand Slam victories at the Australian Open.

The announcement brings an abrupt end to a hugely successful partnership that lasted a little over a year.

Osaka's agent confirmed to The Associated Press that Osaka would no longer be coached by Bajin but said there would be no further comment. "I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future", Osaka said.

Bajin, the 2018 WTA Coach of the Year, publicly responded, thanking the 21-year-old via his personal Twitter account.

The US-based player has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the big time after rising from 72 in the world to number 1 in the past 12 months.

The Japanese star beat red-hot favourite Serena Williams in straight sets to claim her maiden grand slam title last September at the US Open.

Interestingly, Osaka's split with Bajin follows a pattern among the last few Grand Slam champions as both French Open champion Simona Halep and Wimbledon victor Angelique Kerber have parted ways with the coach that helped them win the Majors.

Osaka became the youngest woman to make her debut at No. 1 since Wozniacki at 20 in 2010 and the first tennis player from Asia to reach the top of the women's or men's tennis rankings.

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