Melbourne, Australia, 16 January 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Ajla Tomljanovic has recorded one of the most meaningful Grand Slam wins of her career.

A year after being left heartbroken when a knee injury forced her out of her home Grand Slam, the 30-year-old made a triumphant and emotional return at Australian Open 2024.

The Aussie favourite showcased her determination in a first-round showdown with world No.40 Petra Martic at John Cain Arena this evening.

Trailing 1-4 in the deciding set, Tomljanovic came charging back to record a steely 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 victory in a two-hour and 53-minute battle.

“She really keeps you on your toes and I felt like I never really got settled to play my game,” Tomljanovic said.

“She hits amazing shots and then I can’t read her serve all the time, so I really felt like I had to hang in there because I knew it could turn on a dime.”

As the match edged closer to midnight, Tomljanovic was buoyed on by a passionate crowd.

“I really was out at one point. I felt like she was kind of toying with me,” Tomljanovic told the crowd in her post-match interview.

“But 4-1 down, double break, you guys never gave up, even more than me. So I was like if you’re here, I should give it my best.”

This is Tomljanovic’s first top-50 win since November 2022, marking another key milestone in her competitive return.

The challenges only increase for Tomljanovic from here, with world No.10 Jelena Ostapenko awaiting in the second round.

Ostapenko, who won last week’s Adelaide International title, eliminated Aussie wildcard Kimberly Birrell in the opening round.

Earlier today, Max Purcell recorded his first Australian Open main-draw singles win and Thanasi Kokkinakis won a five-set epic to notch his biggest singles victory at his home Grand Slam in nine years.

> BUY NOW: Australian Open 2024 tickets

Aussies in action – Australian Open

Women’s singles, first round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) d Petra Martic (CRO) 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4
[11] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) d [WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 7-6(5) 6-1
Sloane Stephens (USA) d [WC] Olivia Gadecki (AUS) 6-3 6-1

Men’s singles, first round
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) d Sebastian Ofner (AUT) 7-6(1) 2-6 6-7(4) 7-6(8)
Max Purcell (AUS)
 d [Q] Mate Valkusz (HUN) 3-6 7-6(2) 6-4 7-5
Alex Michelsen (USA) d [WC] James McCabe (AUS) 7-6(5) 3-6 6-1 6-2

Women’s singles, second round
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) v [11] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) 
[Q] Storm Hunter (AUS)
 v Laura Siegemund (GER)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2024 women’s singles draw

Men’s singles, second round
[10] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Matteo Arnaldi (ITA)
Alexei Popyrin (AUS)
 v [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Jordan Thompson (AUS) v [7] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
Max Purcell (AUS) v [11] Casper Ruud (NOR)
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [13] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v [16] Ben Shelton (USA)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2024 men’s singles draw

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