Tomljanovic hungry for action
Ajla Tomljanovic, who skipped the grasscourt swing, is back healthy and with wins under her belt as she targets a strong campaign at the US Open.
A revitalised Ajla Tomljanovic hopes her decision to skip Wimbledon pays dividends with an inspired US Open run.
Tomljanovic is among three Australian women in first-round action at Flushing Meadows on Monday and says she can’t wait after a wretched 18-month battle with injury.
The one-time world No.47 missed all but two events in 2016 following shoulder surgery and opted to sit out Wimbledon in order to save her last use of an injury-protected ranking for New York.
“When Wimbledon was happening, I regretted it because I wanted to play,” Tomjlanovic told AAP.
“But now looking back, it was a great decision, especially after seeing so many injuries happen.
“My body wasn’t ready for it, so I feel like this was the right choice and I love the hardcourt swing here. I feel ready and hungrier than I was.”
Seven wins on the Californian cement in the Open lead-up has the 24-year-old confident of causing some damage on her proven preferred surface.
“It just felt really good to win because I haven’t felt that in a while and any win feels great, whether it’s here or in a Challenger,” Tomljanovic said.
“I’m healthy here. I feel stronger. My shoulder’s holding up well.
“I’ve had niggles here and there but overall the structure of the shoulder is good and that feels good, that I can go out there without thinking about it so it’s going in a good direction.”
Jelena Ostapenko’s surprise French Open triumph and the emergence of a raft of other new talents is also fuelling Tomljanovic’s belief.
“Women’s tennis is so open right now and it feels like you can beat anybody and anybody can beat you,” said the world No.227.
“It helps, especially seeing some girls making runs from qualies. So at this stage it doesn’t matter what’s in front of your name.”
Tomljanovic plays Swede Johanna Larsson in her opener.
“She has a good serve and plays a little bit different than the regular girl. Like, she likes to spin the forehand and kick the serve, but it’s a good match-up for me, and I’m ready,” Tomljanovic said.
Ash Barty, enjoying a career-high ranking of No.42, opens against Croatian 21st seed Ana Konjuh on Day 1, while wildcard play-off winner Arina Rodionova plays Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp.