Alex de Minaur cops massive blow for Wimbledon amid huge Ajla Tomljanovic development

De Minaur has let a massive opportunity go begging.

Alex de Minaur's first round loss at the Queen's Club tournament has seen the Aussie tennis star let a huge opportunity slip at Wimbledon, with the 25-year-old set to miss out on an all-important top-eight seeding at the All England Club. De Minaur rose to No.7 in the world last week after claiming his second career grass-court title at 's-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, but he's dropped back to ninth in the world standings after his shock defeat to Lorenzo Musetti at Queen's.

De Minaur's 6-1 4-6 2-6 loss to Musetti means the Aussie will miss out on being seeded in the top-eight at a grand slam for the first time. That would have ensured de Minaur avoided playing a higher-ranked rival until at least the quarter-finals, should he progress that far at Wimbledon.

Pictured left to right, Alex de Minaur and his Aussie tennis compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic before Wimbledon.
Alex de Minaur and his Aussie compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic have received mixed news ahead of Wimbledon. Pic: Getty

However, now the Aussie faces the daunting possibility of coming up against the likes of 24-time grand slam winner Novak Djokovic, World No.1 Jannik Sinner or defending Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz in the round of 16. De Minaur will find out which one of his rivals he's on a collision course with when the Wimbledon draw is made on Friday in London.

There is still the chance that De Minaur could sneak into a top-eight seeding if Djokovic decides to pull out of the grass court slam, following recent knee surgery. Djokovic has been training at Wimbledon with a large compression bandage on his right knee. The Serb revealed he will do everything he can to compete at the All England Club, but said he would make a final call before Friday's draw and would only play if he feels like he can challenge for the title.

Relying on Djokovic to pull out to secure a top-eight seeding isn't what De Minaur hoped for but the news is better for Aussie compatriot Ajla Tomljanovic, who's been handed a wildcard to compete in the women's singles draw. Tomljanovic's wildcard came off the back of her superb form on grass in Birmingham, where the 31-year-old made the final but was denied her maiden WTA singles title after losing to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

Seen here, Ajla Tomljanovic playing in the final of the Birmingham grass court tournament in 2024.
Ajla Tomljanovic is seen here playing in the final of the Birmingham grass court tournament in 2024. Pic: Getty

Tomjlanovic has been desperately unlucky with injuries but took down four top-60 opponents on the way to her first tour-level singles final in more than five years. The Aussie has fought back from injuries and illness over the past 18 months and admitted she was still working back to her best. But Tomjlanovic insists she's “feeling good” and her jump to 190 in the world rankings shows she's on the right track.


“I’m very happy that I got to the final considering how my past 18 months have looked,” she said. I think there’s a lot that I can still improve on, but the great thing is that this whole week I’ve managed to find ways to win even when my back was against the wall, and that’s a skill in itself that I’ve always tried to develop more.”

Tomljanovic underwent knee surgery in 2023 and was then sidelined by a uterine procedure earlier this season. She was entering Wimbleon with a protected world ranking of 33 but can now save that because of the wildcard. Protected rankings can only be used at a limited number of events, for later in the season. “I’m feeling good about Wimbledon,” said Tomljanovic, a winner in 19 of her past 25 grass-court singles matches. I have some time (now) to take care of my body, get in good shape and feel fresh.”

with agencies