Tennis world in uproar over journalist's question for Ajla Tomljanovic

·Sports Editor
·5-min read
Ajla Tomljanovic, pictured here being asked about Nick Kyrgios following her loss at Wimbledon.
Ajla Tomljanovic was asked about Nick Kyrgios following her loss at Wimbledon. Image: Wimbledon/Getty

Ajla Tomljanovic has hit out at a journalist whose first question after her heartbreaking loss in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon was about Nick Kyrgios.

Tomljanovic took the opening set against Elena Rybakina on Wednesday to raise the prospect of an extraordinary 51-year first for Australian tennis, but eventually bowed out 4-6 6-2 6-3.

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The Aussie star was feeling bittersweet after back-to-back appearances in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after making the same stage of the grass-court grand slam last year.

However she was feeling less than impressed after her post-match press conference when the first question she was asked wasn't about the match, but rather the dramas surrounding ex-boyfriend Kyrgios.

Kyrgios is required in the ACT Magistrates Court on August 2 to potentially face a common assault charge amid reports he grabbed his former girlfriend Chiara Passari in an incident before Christmas last year.

Tomljanovic and Kyrgios previously dated for two years before breaking up in 2017.

When she got into the press room on Wednesday following her loss, she was immediately hit with a question about Kyrgios.

Somewhat taken aback, Tomljanovic said she wasn't aware of Kyrgios' "past relationship and the allegations" when quizzed about her time with him.

Nick Kyrgios and Ajla Tomljanovic, pictured here at the Australian Open in 2016.
Nick Kyrgios and Ajla Tomljanovic at the Australian Open in 2016. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

"It's been a while since our relationship ended," the 29-year-old said.

"Obviously, I've always kept my relationship very private. I would like to keep it like that.

"I'm definitely against domestic violence. I hope it gets resolved. But, yeah, I mean, I haven't had that experience with him."

Following the press conference, Tomlajnovic hit out at the question on social media, saying the journalist should have asked her about the match first.

"Quite disappointing that after almost 2 hours of playing my quarterfinals that that was the first question the journalist chose to ask me, and never proceeded to ask anything match related. Glad to see headlines mostly about that now. Do better," she wrote.

Fans and fellow journalists were also scathing of the question, with some labelling it 'pathetic' and 'disgusting' on social media.

Nick Kyrgios advances after Ajla Tomljanovic loss

Defying her underdog status, Tomljanovic's fearless groundstrokes and relentless retrieving - including one incredible running topspin lob winner from behind the baseline - earned the world No.44 the first set.

Already the first Australian since Jelena Dokic in 1999 and 2000 to make the quarter-finals, Tomljanovic suddenly looked a chance to deliver the most spectacular and unlikely of encores to Ash Barty's march to the title last year.

Legends Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1970 and 1971 are the only Australians to win the Wimbledon singles title in consecutive years.

Elena Rybakina and Ajla Tomljanovic, pictured here after their quarter-final clash at Wimbledon.
Elena Rybakina and Ajla Tomljanovic shake hands after their quarter-final clash at Wimbledon. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)

But after losing to Barty in the quarters last year, Tomljanovic again fell at the same stage as Rybakina stepped up with an other 15 aces to dominate the second and third sets.

"It was a bit disappointing because I felt like I played a really good first set. Actually one of the cleanest sets I've played all tournament," Tomljanovic said.

"I felt like the middle of that second she definitely raised her level. She served crazy good.

"Yeah, just disappointed because I felt like with my game I was really there."

Kyrgios later became the first Aussie male to reach to semi-finals at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, beating unseeded Chilean Christian Garen 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

The Aussie star will face Rafa Nadal in the semi-finals after the Spaniard overcame Taylor Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4).

"I just never thought I'd be at a semi-finals of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed," an emotional Kyrgios said.

"Honestly, I didn't go about things great earlier in my career and I thought I may have wasted that little window."

with AAP

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