Naomi Osaka has split with the coach who took her from world no. 68 to a 2-time Grand Slam champion, and nobody knows why

  • Naomi Osaka made a shock announcement on Twitter on Monday.
  • The world's number one women's tennis player confirmed her split from the 2018 WTA Coach of the Year Sascha Bajin.
  • The decision comes just 16 days after she won her second career Grand Slam title, the 2019 Australian Open, and months after winning her first, the 2018 US Open.
  • Nobody in the tennis industry seems to know why they have parted ways.

Naomi Osaka has split with the coach who guided her from world number 68 to a two-time Grand Slam champion, and nobody knows why.

Osaka joined forces with the 34-year-old tennis coach Sascha Bajin in December 2017, one month after being ranked 68th in the world by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

Six months later, Bajin had guided Osaka into the top 20. And, within two years of benefiting from his tutelage, Osaka won her first major trophy, the 2018 US Open final where she outclassed Serena Williams in straight sets.

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Now, just 16 days after winning her second major — the 2019 Australian Open — Osaka made an announcement that shocked the tennis industry as she confirmed her split from Bajin.

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

Within an hour, Bajin said: "Thank you Naomi. I wish you nothing but the best as well. What a ride that was. Thank you for letting me be part of this."

Osaka's decision took the sport by surprise

Bajin was the 2018 WTA Coach of the Year and had previously worked with Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Caroline Wozniacki.

Considering Bajin's pedigree and the wild success Osaka enjoyed under his watch, the decision to part ways is "surprising," according to the New York Times tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg.

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Scenes from the 2019 Australian Open
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Scenes from the 2019 Australian Open
Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic bites the net in frustration during her first round match against KazakhstanÅfs Yulia Putintseva at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
Britain's Kyle Edmund serves to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Australia's James Duckworth in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic makes a backhand return to Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Britain's Andy Murray reacts during his first round match against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Britain's Andy Murray reacts during a press conference following his first round loss to Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 10, 2019 - Japan's Naomi Osaka trains. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: A detail as sweat drips from the brow of Rafael Nadal of Spain in his Men's Singles Semi Final match against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during day 11 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates after winning championship point in her Women's Singles Final match against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during day 13 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Samantha Stosur of Australia plays a forehand in her Women's Doubles Final match with Shuai Zhang of China against Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France during day 12 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic plays a backhand in her Women's Singles Final match against Naomi Osaka of Japan during day 13 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 23: Milos Raonic of Canada serves in his quarter final match against Lucas Pouille of France during day 10 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 23: Serena Williams of the United States looks on in her quarter final match against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic during day 10 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 23, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 27: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates after winning championship point in his Men's Singles Final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 14 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Japan's Naomi Osaka holds her trophy after defeating Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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Rothenberg even wrote that "the reasons for the split were unclear."

Neither Bajin, Osaka, or her agent Stuart Duguid have elaborated on what caused the split but it will likely be a hot topic in the weeks ahead.

The 21-year-old, currently without a coach, plays in the Dubai Tennis Championships in the United Arab Emirates on February 18. It is her first tournament since becoming the number one women's tennis player on the planet.

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