A Wiser Naomi Osaka Adjusts to Stardom, Even as She Briefly Stumbles

“I guess one of the biggest things is I wanted to be more mature,” she mentioned. “I feel like this is something I’m still working on — on and off the court. It’s one of the biggest goals that I have had in my entire life.”

“I might have thrown a few tantrums last year,” she added. “And this year it’s something that I’m working on improving, and I feel like it’s going well. I think I’m just more confident in myself.”

Dismissing Sascha Bajin, her silken-voiced German coach, was actually a daring transfer. Under his steerage, she defeated Serena Williams, Bajin’s former employer, twice in 2018: as soon as within the first spherical in Miami and as soon as below way more duress within the United States Open closing. With Bajin nonetheless by her aspect, however apparently not in her confidence, Osaka fought by way of one other rough-and-tumble draw to win the Australian Open in January.

Neither has defined their cut up intimately, though Osaka has mentioned it was not a matter of cash. She or some members of her crew have been on the lookout for a lower-profile coach, however there have been clearly private points at work, too.

“Something happened that must not have been good, although that’s just speculation,” mentioned Evert, who usually watched Osaka and Bajin prepare in Boca Raton, Fla. “They were laughing and having fun practices and teasing each other, and it was great, and then just before the Australian and after the Australian, it was tense.”

Bajin is gone now, changed by Jermaine Jenkins, a former standout at Clemson University who spent a number of years as the primary hitting companion for Venus Williams, who dismissed her coach, David Witt, and Jenkins within the low season.

Jenkins was rapidly employed as a nationwide coach by the United States Tennis Association to work out of its nationwide campus in Orlando. He was simply settling in when he obtained a textual content message from Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, inquiring about his availability.

Source link Nytimes.com

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