Naomi Osaka: split with coach was refusal to put ‘success over happiness’

first_imgReuse this content Share on Messenger Bajin, a former hitting partner of Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki, was named as the WTA’s coach of the year for 2018, after his success with Osaka. Osaka said it was clear things were not right between them during the season’s first major. “It was kind of brewing in Australia. I think some people could see that if they saw how we interacted,” the 21-year-old added. “I would not want to split on really bad terms. I’m not going to say anything bad about him because, of course, I’m really grateful for all the things he’s done. During the Australian Open I was just trying to tell myself to get through it. I’m not sure, but I think you guys noticed.”Osaka said she hopes to have a new coach in place by March. “It’s not really ideal to go to Indian Wells without a coach. I don’t want someone that’s in the box saying negative stuff. That would be the worst,” she said.“[I want] someone that’s kind of direct, not afraid to say things to my face. I’d rather someone say it directly to me than go around my back. That’s one of the biggest things.” Since you’re here… Naomi Osaka Share on Facebook The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Tennis Share on Twitter Share via Email Naomi Osaka is adamant that her surprise split with the coach Sascha Bajin had nothing to do with money but was because she refused to put “success over happiness”.The German had guided the Japanese player to back-to-back grand slam titles as well as to the summit of the WTA rankings, rising from No 72 at the start of 2018 to No 1. But only two weeks after her win at Melbourne Park, Osaka abruptly severed ties with Bajin. That led to suggestions the two had fallen out over money.“Everyone thinks it was a money-related issue but it wasn’t,” the US and Australian Open champion told the WTA. “That’s one of the most hurtful things I’ve ever heard. I travel with everyone on my team, I see them more than my family. I would never do that to them. My reason is I wouldn’t put success over my happiness – that’s my main thing. I’m not going to sacrifice that just to keep a person around.” … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Topics Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Support The Guardian Read more newslast_img

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