London | Andreescu and Pliskova revert to former coaches for 2023

The off-season traditionally is a time for a change of coaches and, this year, the carousel of new appointments continues with Bianca Andreescu and Karolina Pliskova reuniting with their former coaches for the New Year.

Thank you for having me back. Let's go get it. Sascha Bajin

Andreescu, the 2019 US Open champion, has reunited with her former coach, Christophe Lambert, while Pliskova is teaming up again with the coach who helped her reach the 2021 Wimbledon final, Sascha Bajin.

Lambert has been working as the Performance Director at Tennis New Zealand, but resigned recently to work with the Canadian.

“Bianca asked me to coach her and I accepted the job,” Lambert told sport.co.nz. “It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

The two previously worked together in 2016, when Lambert was with Tennis Canada, and they have stayed in touch over the years since.

“It wasn’t like every week or every month,” Lambert said. “It’s always good to have people calling you when you are up, but when she was down I was checking on her and giving her my opinion.”

The former World No 4 has enjoyed her best season since her extraordinary breakthrough in 2019, when she won the US Open title, beating Serena Williams in the final in a display of impressive power and precision.

Injury, loss of form, and personal struggles with motivation, however, all played a part in a dip in Andreescu’s form that resulted in a dive in her WTA ranking.

“I’m just taking it day by day, and it’s a great way to end off the year as well, just bringing back all the emotions that fire a lot in me,” Andreescu recently told reporters in Glasgow at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. “I think I’m going to have a great preseason.

“Next year I really think I can crack the top 10 again.”

Andreescu has not won a title since 2019, but there are reasons for optimism about next year as the 22-year old Canadian has managed to put together a full season without injury, winning 20 out of the 33 matches she has played.


Sascha Bajin is returning to coach Karolina Pliskova after a 6-month split this year

© Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Pliskova, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, posted on her website and her Twitter account that she is renew her collaboration under the guidance of German coach Bajin.

38-year old Bajin became Pliskova’s coach in November 2020 when she was ranked No 6 in the world, and although she the Czech dropped out of the top 10 for a week, she subsequently, in 2021, reached the finals of Rome, Wimbledon and Montreal to move up to World No 3.

In July this year the two broke off their working arrangement after 20 months, when Pliskova took on Czech coach Leoš Friedl for the summer.

“Many thanks to Leoš, who willingly started working with us immediately,” Pliskova wrote. “I think that under his guidance we managed to get some interesting results.”

The 45-year-old Czech coach said: “It was a challenge for me to train a player who has been one of the world’s top players for many years and I’m glad I could work with Karolina for those five months.”

Now, 6 months after they stopped working together, Pliskova is reuniting with Bajin, who has worked as a coach or hitting partner with several top tennis players, including Grand Slam title winners Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki.

“Thank you for having me back,” Bajin wrote on Twitter. “Let’s go get it.”

Pliskova is a 30-year-old from the Czech Republic who reached No 1 in the WTA rankings in 2017 and finished this season at No 31 after going 21-21 with no titles.

“I am returning mainly because I still believe I can help Karolina with my insights,” Bajin said. “Her game has gradually improved since her hand injury and in my eyes she has proven that she can still compete with the best in the world.

“We will want to build on these performances and that is why we have decided to renew our connection! I can’t wait to sit in her corner again.”

Pliskova plans to travel to Australia for the start of the 2023 season on 25 December.


Caroline Garcia, seen hugging Juan Pablo Guzman after he stepped in as her coach at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth when Bertrand Perret abruptly ended their collaboration in late October, will keep the Argentine on for 2023

© Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Elsewhere, Caroline Garcia has decided to continue working with coach Juan Pablo Guzman during the 2023 season, although the Argentine will not travel with the Frenchwoman to every tournament.

Garcia won the WTA Finals title in Fort Worth in November, beating Maria Sakkari in the semi-final and Aryna Sabalenka in the final.

The Lyon-based player moved up to a year-ending ranking of World No 4, having also won the Cincinnati WTA 1000 title and losing to Ons Jabeur in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Garcia will play in an exhibition in Dubai against Roland Garros and US Open champion Iga Swiatek, 2021 Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa and 2022 Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina, and will open her WTA season in Adelaide in the build-up to the Australian Open in Melbourne from 16 to 29 January 2023.




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