Karolina Pliskova has added Sasha Bajin to her coaching setup for the start of the 2021 season as she looks to resume her hunt for her maiden Grand Slam title win.
Bajin is the former coach of Naomi Osaka, leading her to major wins and bagging the WTA Coach of the Year award in 2018. He was removed from his position following Osaka’s victory at the 2019 Australian Open.
The German had earlier become famous as a tennis coach by joining Serena Williams’ team as a hitting partner, and went on to coach Kristina Mladenovic and Dayana Yastremska following his journey with Osaka.
A former player with not a great singles track record, Bajin has worked with Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens as their hitting partners.
Pliskova has been the world number one at some point in her career, but barring a final at the 2016 US Open, she hasn’t made it to the title-deciding round of any Grand Slam competition.
Now ranked sixth in the world, Pliskova has 16 WTA titles to her name including one very early this year at the Brisbane International but her performance fell away as the season drew to a close.
Other than reaching the final of the Rome Open where she lost to Simona Halep, Pliskova failed to move past the second round of any of the tournaments she participated in post the pandemic break.
Back to back second round defeats at the US Open and French Open would have propelled the need to change things around, more so because the last time she reached beyond the fourth round at a major was at the 2019 Australian Open.
Pliskova’s coaching setup also includes fitness coach Azuz Simchich, and Olga Savchuk, a former WTA player with a career-best ranking of 79th in the world herself.