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Osaka adds US coach Jenkins to team

March 02, 2019

LOS ANGELES: World number one Naomi Osaka welcomed US coach Jermaine Jenkins to her team on Thursday, just in time for her title defense at Indian Wells next week.

An article on the WTA website said Jenkins would fill the role of head coach in the wake of Osaka’s shock split with coach Sascha Bajin just 17 days after she won a second straight Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Jenkins, 34, is a former US collegiate star who served as hitting partner to Venus Williams from 2015 until end of last season. His younger brother Jarmere is Serena Williams’s hitting partner. In January, Jenkins was named by the US Tennis Association as a national women’s coach. Osaka, 21, said in Dubai last week that her split with Bajin was “kind of brewing” in Melbourne and that she didn’t expect to be without a coach for long.