World No.1 Naomi Osaka has hired Jermaine Jenkins as her new head coach. Osaka alluded to the move on social media on Wednesday and her team has since confirmed the hiring.
"Had a great dinner with the team," Osaka wrote on Twitter. "Also taking this moment to thank Jermaine for joining us and coming on board lol."
Had a great dinner with the team ❤️ also taking this moment to thank Jermaine for joining us and coming on board lol 😊🙌 pic.twitter.com/OBpl5R7L2j
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) February 28, 2019
Jenkins, 34, is a former All American collegiate star at Clemson University and served as hitting partner to Venus Williams from 2015 until the end of last season. His younger brother Jarmere is currently Serena Williams' hitting partner.
In January, Jenkins was named by USTA Player Development as a national coach for women's tennis.
Read more: 2019 Coaching Carousel
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's announcement comes two weeks after her decision to part ways with coach Sascha Bajin. The reigning Australian Open champion told reporters at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships that she did not anticipate flying solo for very long.
"After this tournament I would want to start looking at people," Osaka said last week in Dubai. "It's not really ideal to go to Indian Wells without a coach."
Jenkins joins a team that includes fitness trainer Abdul Sallah, physio Kristy Stahr, and Osaka's father, Leonard Francois.
Osaka is next scheduled to play the BNP Paribas Open, where she is the defending champion. Main draw play begins next week on March 6th.