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Osaka suddenly splits with coach

The Associated Press

Naomi Osaka gets advice from coach Sascha Bajin during a match at the Brisbane International in Australia on Jan. 5.

The Associated Press Naomi Osaka surprisingly split from coach Sascha Bajin, a little more than two weeks after she won the Australian Open for a second consecutive Grand Slam title and moved to No. 1 in the WTA rankings.

“Hey everyone, I will no longer be working together with Sascha,” Osaka posted on Twitter on Monday. “I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future.”

Osaka’s agent confirmed to AP that Osaka would no longer be working with Bajin, the 2018 WTA Coach of the Year, but said there would be no further comment.

Less than a half-hour after Osaka’s tweet, Bajin responded to her on Twitter. He thanked her and wrote: “I wish you nothing but the best as well. What a ride that was. Thank you for letting me be part of this.”

Osaka hired Bajin before the 2018 season. He previously worked with Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

Osaka, who withdrew from this week’s Qatar Open citing a back injury, beat Petra Kvitova in three sets in the Australian Open final on Jan. 26.

That added to her championship at the U.S. Open last September, when she defeated Serena Williams in straight sets.

Those back-to-back victories made Osaka the first woman to win two major titles in a row since Williams picked up four straight in 2014-15.

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.

Tsonga denies Herbert 1st title

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-2 in an all-French final of the Open Sud de France on Sunday, winning his 17th career title and denying his countryman a first.

Tsonga broke the seventh-seeded Herbert’s serve three times and dropped only four points throughout the match on his own serve.

The 33-year-old Tsonga was out for seven months last year following a left-knee injury. His previous title was in October 2017 at the European Open in Antwerp.

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