Tomljanovic Falls to Putintseva in Birmingham Classic Final

25/06/2024
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Tomljanovic Unable to Break Her Finals Curse in Birmingham.

A month after her latest comeback from injury, Ajla Tomljanovic found herself back in a WTA Final, losing to Yulia Putintseva

News Insights

  • Tomljanovic shows guts through opening rounds.
  • Tomljanovic jumps to 135 in world rankings. 0-5 now Tomljanovic’s unfortunate WTA Finals record.
  • 0-5 now Tomljanovic’s unfortunate WTA Finals record.
  • Wimbledon up next for the Aussie.

Ajla Tomljanovic spent eight months on the shelf dealing with injury and illness. Returning just one month ago, she has already rounded into form as she worked her way through the draw at the Birmingham Classic to reach the final, losing to Yulia Putintseva. 

Opening Rounds No Walk in the Park

Tomjlanovic began her quest for the Birmingham Classic Title against fellow unseeded woman Anna Blinkova  
 
The 6-2, 6-1 final score did not quite paint the full picture as Tomjlanovic certainly had to work for the victory. The match came down to the big points, which Tomljanovic dominated. 
 
She went 5/7 on break points while Blinkova, who had 12 opportunities to break, only converted one of them.  
 
Tomljanovic then came up against Zhu Lin. The two went back-and-forth, exchanging breaks and crucial holds alike until eventually the set was knotted at six.  
 
There was very little to separate the two in the tiebreak but it was Zhu who got the upper hand, winning the set 7-6 (8-6). 
 
Tomjlanovic would raise her level in the second set, racing to a 6-1 victory to force a decisive third set.  
 
Zhu put up a fight, but it was Tomljanovic that was able to pull away and win the set 6-4 and subsequently the match.  
 
She faced six seed Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada in the quarterfinal.  
 
The opening set was all Fernandez as her aggressive play was poorly handled by Tomljanovic. She ran away with the set 6-1.  
 
Something clicked for Tomljanovic early in the second set and she seemed much more relaxed. She out-battled Fernandez and took the set 6-3. 
 
In the third, Tomljanovic took the momentum and ran with it. She was now the aggressor in rallies keeping Fernandez well back of the baseline en route to a 6-2 set win.  
 
She then met seventh seeded Anastasia Potapova in the semi-finals. Tomljanovic broke in the third game of the opening set and looked primed to hold her lead to a set victory.  
 
Serving for the set at 5-4 however, Tomljanovic faultered and gave the break back. The set would need a tiebreak which Tomljanovic narrowly won 7-5.  
 
The second set was also tightly contested with the two exchanging holds up until the tenth game. With Tomljanovic up 5-4 but Potapova serving, the Aussie claimed the only break of the set to win the match.  

Finals Battle with Putintseva 

Facing Yulia Putintseva in the finals, Tomljanovic Couldn’t find the same magic she had in the previous matches.  
 
It was all Putintseva from the start, as she broke Tomljanovic at 15 in the opening game of the match.  
 
Tomljanovic didn’t just rollover, she held held serve in the third game to stay in touch with Putintseva but the success was short lived.  
 
Putintseva would win the next four games to win the opening set 6-1.  
 
Tomljanovic again lost her opening service game of the second set but would bounce back immediately with her first break of the match.  
 
She then won four of the next five games, including anothing break, to lead 5-3. After Putintseva held, Tomljanovic had a chance to serve for the set.  
 
Despite having a set point, she was eventually broken, and then after exchanging holds, the pair went to a tiebreak.  
 
Going back-and-forth in the tiebreak, the score reached 8-8. After Putintseva won the next point, Tonljanovic needed to fight off the third match point of the set.  
 
She was unable to do so, spraying a forehand wide to finish runner-up.  
 
With the loss, Tomljanovic has now lost all five of the WTA Finals she has featured in. However, the tournament should still be seen as a massive success for the Australian who will jump to 135 in the world rankings and has momentum heading into Wimbledon. 

Just one month removed from an eight-month injury hiatus, Ajla Tomljanovic was able to work her way to the final of the Birmingham Classic. Despite her loss to Yulia Putintseva, the showing was positive as the Australian proved she still has what it takes to compete at an elite level.

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