World No. 1 Naomi Osaka is no longer without a coach.
The reigning US Open and Australian Open champion announced on Wednesday that Jermaine Jenkins, former hitting partner of Venus Williams was joining her team. WTA Insider reports that he will be coming on in a head-coaching role.
On Feb. 11, Osaka announced her split with Sascha Bajin, who coached her during all three of her previous tournament wins, and focused heavily on her mentality. In 2018, he was named the WTA's inaugural Coach of the Year.
Jenkins played for Clemson University and worked with Venus from 2015 to the end of last year. The 34-year-old is the older brother of Jarmere, who is Serena Williams' current hitting partner
Words cannot fully express how grateful for and appreciative of @Venuseswilliams I am. Together with her family and entire team I have been blessed with opportunity, friendship and rich, beautiful, substantive experiences that I am thoroughly enjoying and will forever cherish. pic.twitter.com/1DPjAqhggX— Jermaine Jenkins (@JermaineJenks11) October 21, 2018
Osaka, in her one match since then, fell, 6-3, 6-3, to Kristina Mladenovic in Dubai.
After that match, though, she expressed little concern, saying, "The Australian Open was not even a month ago."
"The Australian Open was not even a month ago. This was just one match. I think I'm pretty young. I still feel like I have a lot to learn.”— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) February 19, 2019
Naomi Osaka speaks to reporters after bowing out @DDFTennis.
Read: https://t.co/BHqOFJvTmO#DDFTennis pic.twitter.com/f7w0pbnQFF
She also recently received the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year.
Jenkins joins just in time for Osaka's first career title defense, in Indian Wells.