Ajla Tomljanovic, Australia’s top-ranked woman, is planning to play pressure free at Wimbledon 2022.
London, Great Britain, 28 June 2022 | Leigh Rogers
Ajla Tomljanovic returns to Wimbledon with “so many special memories”.
The 29-year-old enjoyed a career-best run at the All England Club in 2021, advancing to her first Grand Slam singles quarterfinal.
Although the top-ranked Australian woman has been handed a difficult draw this year, she is ready for the challenge.
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“I’m just excited to get going,” Tomljanovic said ahead of her first-round clash with world No.22 Jil Teichmann.
“Last year was just proof that great things can happen if you just play well and don’t give up and keep going. So I’m going to try to have the same tactic for this year.”
This positive mindset is a new outlook for Tomljanovic, who admits she often put too much pressure on herself to perform in the past.
“That’s kind of what kills me the most, is just that, I’m kind of my worst enemy sometimes,” she noted.
“So I’m trying to kind of change that and be my own best friend in the moments that I need.
“Knowing that I’ve had a good run and my best Slam result here last year, I’m just trying to draw the positives because I’m going to try and help myself as much as I can.”
Despite her success last year, Tomljanovic describes her relationship with grass courts as “interesting”.
“I used to dislike it more than like it until last year. I just didn’t like the unexpectedness of things,” she said.
Yet the world No.44 now feels more comfortable on the surface.
“It’s kind of playing a lot on your instinct and relying on just that natural ability, which is exciting. It definitely keeps you more on your toes,” Tomljanovic said.
“I feel like it’s so important to not get behind quickly, whereas on clay if you get down a little bit you kind of feel like you have more time. Here everything’s happening so quickly, so you’ve got to be like a tiger once you get out there.”
Tomljanovic will have an important edge in grass-court experience in her first-round clash with Teichmann, who has only recorded a single career win on grass and is on a six-match losing streak on the surface.
Yet the Australian knows she can’t take the No.18 seed lightly in their first career meeting.
“I’ve practised with her a few times,” Tomljanovic said. “She’s having a great year and I think a lefty is always tricky on the grass.”
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