Ajla Tomljanovic hits out at tennis officials after US Open loss

·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
Ajla Tomljanovic is pictured in a press conference on the left, and during her US Open quarter final on the right.
Ajla Tomljanovic took a potshot at tennis officials after career best finishes at Wimbledon and the US Open haven't been reflected in her world ranking. Pictures: Getty Images

Ajla Tomljanovic has launched a broadside at the ATP and WTA after her quarter-final loss to Ons Jabeur at the US Open, saying decisions taken earlier in the year have affected her ranking.

It was a heartbreaking exit for the World No.46, who had the opportunity to force a third set serving at 3-5 up in the second, before Jabeur came storming back.

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The World No.5 took full advantage of Tomljanovic's errors on serve, with the Australian's chances hobbled by two double-faults while serving for the set, out of a total of 11 for the match.

There was some speculation the 29-year-old was slightly affected by a leg injury, with commentators noticing her left leg was heavily strapped.

Jabeur was ultimately just a cut above the Aussie star, claiming a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory.

While it was a disappointing exit for Tomljanovic, she equalled her career-best grand slam finish after also making the quarter finals at Wimbledon, where she lost to Elena Rybakina.

Chasing a berth in the top 32 in order to win automatic seeding for the Australian Open, it's most likey that Tomljanovic will need more good results at other tournaments outside grand slams in order to keep progressing up the rankings.

However the decision to strip Wimbledon of ranking points over the ban on Russian and Belarussian players has left Tomljanovic feeling hard done by, as her finish at the All England club likely would have helped her break through the top 32 barrier.

“It feels like one (grand slam) quarter-final because the other one doesn’t count, so it’s like I’m in a position that sucks right now,” Tomljanovic said.

“I’m still fighting to be top 30, and, I mean, I don’t even know what I’m playing next. I don’t even know what there is to play.

“I just know that I’m not the player to chase points. My body is not up for flying tomorrow and then playing on Monday. I don’t even know if I can do that. I don’t know if I want to do that.

“But, at the same time, I want to be in that group of players where I deserve to be.

“So just really frustrated at the moment with that - but I’m mad that I am frustrated with it because it’s out of my control.

“But it’s still very frustrating."

Ajla Tomljanovic's impressive US Open run ends

Having made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in back-to-back years, Tomljanovic was looking to become the first Aussie woman to reach the semi-finals in New York since Sam Stosur a decade ago.

But it wasn't to be as Jabeur held her nerve under pressure to seal the match in the second set tie-breaker, advancing despite only making 40 per cent of her first serves.

The crafty Tunisian's clever variety ultimately proved the difference, as the world No.5's spins, slices and delicately diced overheads earned the 26-year-old a last-four clash with Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.

But victory was anything but straightforward for Jabeur as Tomljanovic withstood 29 winners from the Tunisian to make a spirited contest of the quarter-final with another big-hearted display.

After going down a set and a break, the writing looked on the wall for Tomljanovic.

But if Jabeur was budgeting for a smooth passage through to the last four, she clearly hadn't seen Tomljanovic's two steely wins over Serena Williams and Liudmila Samsonova en route to the quarters.

Tomljanovic bravely battled back from 3-1 down to lead 5-3 in the second set.

Alas, the Australian giant-killer blinked for the first time all tournament as two double-faults while serving for the set brought her unstuck.

Ajla Tomljanovic and Ons Jabeur embrace aftr their US Open quarter-final.
Ajla Tomljanovic had opportunities to force a third set against Ons Jabeur, but the world No.5 ultimately sent her packing from the US Open. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Tomljanovic went within millimetres of conjuring two set points the next game only for a blistering backhand return to be ruled out on a "close call".

Undeterred, Tomljanovic wouldn't go away, her resilience driving Jabeur crazy.

The fifth seed threw her racquet in frustration on successive points as Tomljanovic held for 6-5, then claimed a mini break in the tiebreaker.

But another untimely double-fault cruelled Tomljanovic as Jabeur hung on to prevail after one hour, 41 minutes.

"I knew physically it was going to be a tough match," Jabeur said.

"Even emotionally, it was tough to manage the frustrations because when you have breaks, you want to finish.

"But she keeps fighting and makes it tough for me.

"I'm just here trying to do my job and hopefully I can inspire more and more generations from Africa. It really means a lot to me."

With AAP

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