Big Wimbledon news for Ajla despite loss

Rothesay Classic Birmingham - Day Nine
Ajla Tomljanovic has been given a Wimbledon wildcard. Picture: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

Ajla Tomljanovic says she’s “feeling good” about her Wimbledon return after being handed a wildcard on the back of her impressive run on the grass courts at Birmingham.

The 31-year-old Australian was denied her quest to hold aloft a maiden WTA singles title after losing the title to Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

But Tomjlanovic took down four top-60 opponents on the way to her first tour-level singles final in more than five years and was rewarded with direct entry to the main draw at Wimbledon where she’s twice been a quarter-finalist.

Having fought back from injuries and illness over the past 18 months, Tomljanovic said she was still working back to her best but a jump to 190 in the rankings was evidence of a big push coming.

“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 fought back in the final in Birmingham as well, recovering from a 1-6 0-2 deficit and nearly extending the match in to a deciding set.

“It’s never easy losing in a final, but I really tried my best today,” Tomljanovic acknowledged.

Tomljanovic had entered Wimbledon with a protected world ranking of 33.

But she can now save her protected ranking, which 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.”