What do coaching changes mean to Halep, Sloane, Osaka at Indian Wells?

What do coaching changes mean to Halep, Sloane, Osaka at Indian Wells?

The three Grand Slam champions have all made major moves to their teams.

There have been a lot of coaching changes on the WTA tour since the start of the season, some involving very high-profile players. Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens and Naomi Osaka—who have combined to win four of the last six Grand Slam titles—have all made major moves to their teams.

Halep, who was with Darren Cahill when she won last year's French Open, split with coach Thierry Van Cleemput, who she had brought on only a few weeks earlier. She simply said that the two weren't a match, and she is now working without a coach. 

Stephens, who won the 2017 US Open, split with Kamau Murray and hired Sylvester Black as his replacement. Murray had helped Stephens realize her vast potential, but the American has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. So while she won a Grand Slam and reached another Grand Slam final, it's understandable why she might have wanted a new voice. 

Osaka made the biggest change of them all. The 21-year-old split with Sascha Bajin, who helped her to win two Grand Slam titles—the last two. Getting rid of somebody that helped you reach the top of the game might seem like a wild decision, but Osaka said that she was no longer happy with the way things were going. 

With all of these moves happening, it's exciting to see how these three will do at Indian Wells. This is a huge tournament, and opportunity for each them to show that their new partnerships—or lack there of in Halep's case—are off to a good start. Osaka will be the most interesting, as she won the Australian Open in January. It's not going to be easy to convince people that this was the right decision, but she's going to do her best.