Dubai PHOTOS: Osaka practices with coach Yoshikawa, first round completes

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First round wrapped up at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in Dubai on Monday, while top players who enjoyed a bye used the day for practice sessions and photoshoots.

Twice defending champion Elina Svitolina posed with the familiar trophy on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth 2, while world No.1 Naomi Osaka, who has recently fired coach Sascha Bajin for personal persons, was all smiles practicing with coach Masashi Yoshikawa, the Japanese’s helping hand since her teens.

Yoshikawa-san is not really my coach-coach. He’s just been helping me since I was 16. He’s one of the people that knows my game the most. He’s always around at certain tournaments, he’s always helping. I thought it would be a good idea for him to come here since I’m sort of stuck right now. This is the one tournament that I think I need someone around that’s very helpful.

Elise Mertens had beaten three Top 10 opponents in a row to clinch the Qatar Total Open title last week, but the 16th seed fell at first hurdle in Dubai, losing a three-hour marathon to Chinese world No.107 Zhu Lin. We have plenty of photos from that match, as well as from Alison Riske‘s upset of seed No.13 Julia Goerges.

Ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki was forced to pull out of the tournament due to a viral illness. This Monday didn’t serve the Dane well at all, as she was also kicked out of the Top 10 by her bestie Serena Williams, who hasn’t even played since the Australian Open, but Wozniacki’s points from last year’s Doha semifinals expired this week.

Our Jimmie48 was around all the above-mentioned players on Monday and more!



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