Cahill leaves world No. 1 Halep without a coach for first few months, Latest Tennis News - The New Paper
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Cahill leaves world No. 1 Halep without a coach for first few months

Simona Halep will be without a coach for the first few months of the season after Australian Darren Cahill left her team due to "family reasons", the world No. 1 said on Sunday.

Halep, who is gearing up for the Australian Open by playing in this week's Sydney International, has worked with the former Australia Davis Cup captain since 2016 and said she would not replace him until at least the claycourt season.

"The situation is that for the next three to four months, I don't want to take the coach... I go with the flow and I see how it works," the French Open champion told the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) website.

"He took the decision because of family and family always comes first. I wasn't disappointed or upset, I fully understood. We have a very good relationship."

Cahill has a long track record as a coach, helping compatriot Lleyton Hewitt reach No. 1 in the rankings as well as reviving the career of American Andre Agassi.

"It's tough. But I feel confident I can do my own things on court. I'm more responsible now on everything that I have to do," Halep added. "Maybe it's a good thing, I will see."

Meanwhile, Halep said she was pain-free following a back injury that cut short her 2018 season, but believes this week would be the real test of her fitness.

She won her maiden Grand Slam at Roland Garros last year but was diagnosed with a herniated disc in October which ruled her out of the season-ending WTA Finals.

The Romanian retained her top ranking for a second straight year despite missing the Singapore tournament and said she was raring to go after a spell during recovery where she did not pick up a racket.

"The back was good for the off-season. I didn't have pain and I trained 100 per cent, I played some sets, some matches," Halep said.

"No pain, no stress, but you never know until the official matches, so I'm waiting for this week to see how I feel. I have no pressure, but I'm motivated to see how good I can be this year."

Top seed Halep, who has a bye into the Sydney second round, will face either Jelena Ostapenko or local hope Ashleigh Barty. - REUTERS

Teague leads Timberwolves’ rout of Lakers

Jeff Teague contributed a pair of three-pointers to a game-opening, 15-1 run on yesterday morning (Singapore time) that paved the way for hosts Minnesota Timberwolves to post a 108-86 rout of a Los Angeles Lakers' squad missing LeBron James.

The win came shortly before Minessota head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau was fired, ending his tenure midway through his third season. The team announced the move after the game, with assistant Ryan Saunders becoming interim head coach.

Teague finished with 15 points and a game-high 11 assists, while Karl-Anthony Towns added a double-double with 28 points and a game-high 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who also beat Orlando at home last Friday.

Lance Stephenson came off the bench for 14 points and six assists to lead the Lakers, who lost for the fifth time in six games since James suffered a groin injury in a Christmas Day win over the Golden State Warriors.

The Timberwolves outshot the Lakers 46.1 per cent to 36.8 and outscored them 33-15 on three-pointers, with Teague and Wiggins hitting a game-high threes. - REUTERS

SELECTED RESULTS: Atlanta 106 Miami 82, Oklahoma 98 Washington 116, Toronto 121 Indiana 105

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