Bajin not to blame for poor start to 2021, says Pliskova

FILE PHOTO: Mar 28, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic hits a forehand against Jessica Pegula of the United States (not pictured) in the third round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Karolina Pliskova has yet to taste much success under Sascha Bajin since hiring the German coach at the end of last season but the Czech former world number one said they are working well together.

Pliskova, who is ranked ninth in the world, split with Daniel Vallverdu at the end of her 2020 campaign and added Naomi Osaka's former coach Bajin for the 2021 season.

The 29-year-old has not gone past the quarter-final stage at any of her six events this year but told reporters at the WTA 500 event in Stuttgart that she is "working well" with her coach.

"Of course, I didn't play that great but nothing is his mistake," said Pliskova, who topped the world rankings in 2017.

"Sometimes you don't even know the reason why things are happening.

"But he's trying his best, I'm trying my best. Hopefully we're going to have more success in the future. But everything is working well."

Bajin helped Osaka to back-to-back major titles at the U.S. Open in 2018 and the Australian Open the following year and has also previously worked with 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams.

Pliskova's last title came in Brisbane in January 2020 and the Czech has since made just one final, losing to Simona Halep in Rome last September.

The Czech acknowledged she has not had the best start to 2021.

"For many years, I was super consistent. So, maybe this year is going to be a bit different," she said.

"I'm trying to do my best to be back at the level where I've been or where I finished like last year in Australia, but I'm practising well. I feel maybe it's going to need more time.

"Of course, it's not the best feeling about my year so far, but I think I'm doing many things right. So, hopefully, the year is still long, there is still plenty of tournaments to go."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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