Street Signs and Coaching Splits
Posted on February 12 2019
The aftermath of the Australian is always a good opportunity to reassess your plans for the tennis year ahead. For some, the year might have started perfectly, for other’s the tournament is better off forgotten. Everyone, however, now has some time to reflect on their early season performance as they take on some slightly smaller tournaments before the bigger events return next month.
Naomi Osaka by Charlie Cowins is licensed under CCBY2.0
Osaka Splits with Coach
One person who you wouldn’t expect to be making big changes at this point of the season is Naoimi Osaka. The 21-year-old world number 1 has won the last two Grand Slam titles, but it seems this success has not been enough to stop her from splitting with coach Sascha Bajin.
When Bajin took over as Osaka's coach in 2018, the Japanese was ranked 68th in the world, and it is certainly a big shock that the pair have split given their success. Amazingly, Simona Halep, winner of last year’s French Open and Angelique Kerber, last year’s Wimbledon champion also split with their coaches soon after their triumphs. This means that, less than a year later, none of the winners of the past 4 Grand Slam events remain with the coaches that helped them to victory.
According to the New York Times, the split wasn’t a complete surprise given some of Osaka’s comments after the Australian Open final, however, it must have been a difficult decision to make such a change after the recent success the pair have had.
Check out the New York Times article!
Doha Dreaming for the Women
The women’s tour continues in Doha this week for the first leg of their trip to the Arabian Peninsular. A hugely competitive field includes Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Angelique Kerber, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, and Caroline Wozniacki.
In just a 32 player draw, this means there are going to be plenty of high-profile matches and lots of competitive tennis. Look out for a tantalizing first-round matchup between Kiki Bertens and Camila Giorgi.
While the focus of the women’s game is on Doha, it’s a little more difficult to keep track of where the men are. This week sees tournaments played all over the world, with player’s split between Rotterdam, New York, and Buenos Aires.
The most rankings points are on offer in Rotterdam, where Kei Nishikori, Karen Khachanov, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Milos Raonic, among others, make up a very strong draw. There are plenty of rankings points on offer here and it will be interesting to see how Greek sensation, Stefanos Tsitsipas gets on after his run to the Australian Open final.
For the best rundown of everything that’s going on this week, check out tennis.com!
Ashe to be Honored
In some happy new, Arthur Ashe is set to have a street named after him in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. The tennis legend was the first black player to be selected for the US Davis Cup team and won a total of three Grand Slams.
Ashe, who did a huge amount for the community already has a sports complex named after him and a sculpture, but he will continue to be remembered with the naming of a new street.
Discover more about Ashe at ESPN!
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