Ajla Tomljanovic set to replace Ash Barty as Australia’s top tennis player

After Ash Barty’s surprise retirement, Ajla Tomljanovic has unexpectedly become Australia’s top prospect in women’s tennis.

The 28-year-old is currently ranked 42nd in the world – almost 50 places higher than the second highest ranked Australian woman.

Tomljanovic, who dated Nick Kyrgios, was born in Croatia but became an Australian citizen in 2018.

She had a strong 2021 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals where she was beaten by Barty, who would go on to win the tournament.

With Barty now retired, Tomljanovic knows there will be more expectations placed on her as she faces a pivotal year.

“But I think it’s good pressure. I think it’s the scares you need,” she said. Sports Sunday.

“I definitely have big shoes to fill, so I’m definitely not going to give it up.

“I said this year that I wanted to get my first title and get into the top 30, which is still to come.

“I have a couple of events coming up that I really like before the French Open. It’s actually one of the events that I did best when I was younger, so it has a special place. in my heart.

“I think this season on clay could be a turning point.”

Barty’s retirement took the world by surprise and Tomljanovic hopes he wasn’t the last to see her on the courts.

“It was very emotional,” she said.

“I appreciate how unique her background was and she always did exactly what she felt. I hope she stays in other areas of tennis just so we can always feel her spirit.”

Tomljanovic was last in action at the Charleston Open where she reached the round of 16.



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