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Bajin's goals for Pliskova: a plan B and less pressure at major events
To develop more consistency—especially during the two weeks of a big event—Karolina Pliskova needs to have a more flexible strategy when going on court, according to new coach Sascha Bajin.
Published Dec 13, 2020
Karolina Pliskova's new coach, Sascha Bajin, knows exactly what his aim is—to try to help the former No. 1 and Grand Slam finalist capture a major title.
The pair began working together two weeks ago, and are currently doing off-season training.
The established coach helped Naomi Osaka win two Slams and has also worked with several WTA players, including Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki and until recently, Dayana Yastremska, who brought him on at the beginning of the season.
Bajin said he had had other offers from WTA and ATP players but likes having a straightforward goal.
"Karolina's goal is to work towards a Grand Slam victory and she has enough experience to do this," he told tennisnet.com.
The task will be largely psychological, according to Bajin.
"When you've won other titles on the tour and have beaten all of the players before, it must be some kind of mental obstacle that is preventing playing their best tennis at the Grand Slam tournaments. I think or at least hope that I can help her with this," he said. "The confidence having a coach who has worked with a multiple Grand Slam winner is a little different.
"So far she may have put too much pressure on herself."
Pliskova announced a split with coach Dani Vallverdu a little more than a month ago following a substandard season. She won Brisbane and reached a final at Rome but otherwise won back-to-back matches at just one event.
To develop more consistency—especially during the two weeks of a big event—Pliskova needs to have a more flexible strategy when going on court, according to Bajin.
"A plan B is very important, especially if you want to win a Grand Slam event," he said. "We're working on that and we want that she manages to get rid of this mental block and play her best tennis in the most important moments."
Pliskova is No. 6 in the rankings. The WTA is using an adjusted ranking system that allows players to count tournament performances from either 2019 or this season in their ranking points.