Birmingham, UK, 22 June 2024 | Matt Trollope

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Ajla Tomljanovic has scored her biggest win this year, beating world No.33 Leylah Fernandez to reach the semifinals of the WTA Birmingham Classic.

The Australian rebounded from a set and a break down to beat the 2021 US Open finalist 1-6 6-3 6-2, winning 12 of the final 16 games.

It’s another excellent grass-court result for the two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, who has now won 20 of her past 27 matches on the surface.

And it marks Tomljanovic’s first WTA-level semifinal since she progressed to the last four in Zhengzhou in September 2019.

“Really happy with the win today. It was very tough; I thought Leylah played great in the first set, but really happy I managed to win in three,” Tomljanovic reflected.

“My first semifinal of the year – who would have thought after all the months that I’ve missed?

“But I’m super thrilled, and quick turnaround tomorrow.”

Tomljanovic next faces Anastasia Potapova, against whom she holds a winning 2-1 head-to-head record.

They haven’t played in almost three years; Tomljanovic won their 2021 clash in Cluj-Napoca, 7-5 in the third set.

After reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at an ITF grass-court event in Surbiton, Tomljanovic’s run to the semis in Birmingham is expected to push her back to the cusp of the world’s top 150.

It’s encouraging progress for the 31-year-old, whose 2023 and 2024 seasons have been marred by physical problems, including a chronic knee injury.

She missed three months of tennis earlier this year after undergoing surgery to remove uterine fibroids, and only resumed competing in May during the clay-court season.

On grass, she has been a player transformed.

She has beaten three top-60 opponents this week in Birmingham – Anna Blinkova, Zhu Lin and now Fernandez – and against Potapova will aim for her eighth win in her past nine matches.

Aussies in action – Birmingham

Women’s singles, quarterfinals
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 
d [6] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 1-6 6-3 6-2

Women’s singles, semifinals
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 
v [7] Anastasia Potapova


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