London, Great Britain, 30 June 2022 | Leigh Rogers

Ajla Tomljanovic has learned many lessons in a professional career spanning more than a decade. Arguably, the importance of self-belief is one of the most pertinent.

The world No.44 says this was the biggest takeaway from her career-best quarterfinal run at Wimbledon in 2021.

“Sometimes I can still doubt and find reasons why I can’t do well, but I feel like on grass, it’s so important just to believe in yourself,” explained the 29-year-old Australian.

“When you step up in the court, you just have to be so determined and sure of what you are doing. I think that kind of stuck from last year.”

Tomljanovic’s greater self-belief was evident in a first-round win against No.18 seed Jil Teichmann this week.

“I have had some good tournaments in places, but I have never had this feeling like I had coming back this year,” Tomljanovic said after her straight-sets victory against the world No.22.

“I don’t know why? Maybe because it’s Wimbledon and it’s such a different surface. Maybe because it was my biggest run last year in my career.”

Although Tomljanovic is drawing confidence from last year’s quarterfinal run, she knows she needs to keep looking forward too.

“In tennis it’s like literally the day after you have done something, it’s gone. It’s past, people forget and you are onto the next,” Tomljanovic acknowledged.

“But in my mind, you know, I try to just take out the positive. I remember it in a way, ‘okay, I did that. That’s always going to be a great memory for me, and I know that I can do great things on this surface and at this tournament’.

“But at the same time, this is a completely new year, and you can’t kind of ride the wave from last year just because you have done well, you know. If you want to do well again, you have to prove it again that you can do it.”

This provides extra motivation for Tomljanovic, who is making her seventh main draw appearance at Wimbledon, ahead of a second-round meeting with American qualifier Catherine Harrison today.

“It’s never easy playing a qualifier that qualified and won a round,” said Tomljanovic, who has never previously played the world No.262. “Those opponents are always dangerous.

“Honestly, it feels like such a privilege to play at Wimbledon and I’m just grateful to have another match.”

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