Ajla Tomljanovic delivered a tough press conference only hours after announcing she would not take part in the Australian Open due to injury. Tomljanović was looking at a tough draw with a predicted second round match-up against 2020 champion Sofia Kenin or two-time Open winner Victoria Azarenka in round two.
However, the World No.35 never got the chance to prove herself after announcing she wouldn't be able to compete at the Australian Open due to an injury picked up before the grand slam. And after making the announcement on social media, Tomljanovic faced the media and appeared devastated during the announcement.
“If you ask me, this is probably the worst timing ever. I’m sure I would have said that even if it happened in six months [but] if I’m taking a 15-second pity party, this shouldn’t have happened now," she said. "It’s the time when I’m feeling my best self in every way; coming into a slam truly feeling like I deserve to be even a contender. I mean, I feel that way. I’m not coming out here and faking that.
“So, in a way, am I going to have to start from scratch? Probably not. It feels a little unfair, but life’s unfair. Part of our job, injuries will happen.”
On social media, Tomljanovic admitted it was a tough decision to make the call and skip the Australian Open.
"It's been a very tough decision to make but I have to listen to my body," she wrote. "It's no secret that this is my favourite place to play so it hurts to miss out on a great opportunity to play in front of my home crowd and be surrounded by the incredible love and atmosphere."
Paula Badosa also withdraws from Aus Open
Only hours after Tomljanovic announced her withdrawal, World No.16 Paula Badosa was also forced out due to injury.
"Sad to miss Australian Open this year, really going to miss it," she wrote.
The tennis world reacted with shock as two contenders withdrew from the first grand slam of the year only days before the tournament. Tomljanovic's absence also marks the first time there are no Australian non-wild card entrants in the women's draw for the Melbourne tournament.
This is remarkable considering Ashy Barty won the event last year.
Tomljanovic's withdrawal is another blow to the Australian Open. Naomi Osaka withdrew from the tournament, which. she followed up with a pregnancy announcement.
British superstar Emma Raducanu is also in a race to be fit after picking up an injury in the lead-up tournament. On the men's side, World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz withdrew due to injury.
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