Birmingham, UK, 23 June 2024 | Matt Trollope

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Ajla Tomljanovic’s resurgence has continued, with the Australian defeating Anastasia Potapova to reach the WTA Birmingham Classic final.

Tomljanovic posted a 7-6(5) 6-4 win, surviving a tense first set and then breaking Potapova in the final game of the match to advance.

This marks her first appearance in a WTA-level final since Pattaya City in February 2019, and she will attempt to win her first career title after falling in her four previous finals.

She faces Yulia Putintseva – who has won four of their five previous meetings – in the decider.

“Playing on Sunday is always special because you really want to win, but at the same time you want to enjoy the moment. So I really hope tomorrow will be one to remember,” said the 31-year-old.

“I don’t want to really think about that, you know, it’s my I don’t know what number final and I haven’t won a title yet, but for sure it will play a bit of a role tomorrow.”

Tomljanovic becomes the third Australian into the Birmingham Classic final, after Jenny Byrne in 1992 and Ash Barty in 2017 and 2019.

Barty’s 2019 triumph saw her ascend to world No.1 for the first time.

Tomljanovic’s ranking has tumbled from a high of No.32 to 190th, after a knee injury ruled her out for much of 2023 and surgery to remove uterine fibroids sidelined her for three months earlier this season.

She is the third-lowest-ranked finalist at a WTA grass-court tournament in the Open era, and her performance this week in Birmingham is expected to boost her back up to No.135.

This result also means she has now reached tour-level finals on all three surfaces, yet grass is where Tomljanovic has especially thrived.

She is a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist and has won eight of her past nine matches on the surface, after reaching the ITF Surbiton quarterfinals as a qualifier two weeks ago.

She has built a 21-7 record on grass dating back to 2021.

“I’m feeling really happy. I really came in with not many expectations this week, but I had full belief that I could play really good tennis here, so just really pleased that I made the final,” Tomljanovic said.

“I’ve learned that with grass, you can get humbled really quickly, so I try to not think too much of how well I’m playing, or how badly – I try to just stay level and take every match as a new one.

“But it feels I guess good to come into tournaments having won a lot of matches before, for sure.

“Wimbledon’s the one where I definitely want to peak. If I don’t win tomorrow, at least maybe it will be like, I’m gonna do well there.”

Aussies in action – Birmingham

Women’s singles, semifinals
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
 d [7] Anastasia Potapova 7-6(5) 6-4

Women’s singles, final
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 
v Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)

London, United Kingdom

In his first semifinal at ATP 500 level, Jordan Thompson came close to reaching the Queen’s Club final before losing in three sets to Lorenzo Musetti.

Thompson, aiming for a third career grass-court final appearance, controlled the second set before the Italian hit his way out of a tense third set to complete a 6-3 3-6 6-3 triumph.

“It was a tough match. Lorenzo had a great start, jumped me straight away, broke (me in) my first service game so I felt like I was behind the whole first set. I started the second set really well and got out to a 5-0 lead, and the third set it could have gone either way, but he played a great game there at 4-3,” Thompson reflected.

“I was trying to hold on, fighting him off, but he made some great shots, and some great passing shots, so yeah, it was a see-saw battle and it ended up with him coming out on top.”

It was nevertheless an excellent week for Thompson, who overcame Holger Rune, Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz to reach the biggest semifinal of his career.

The performance is expected to boost him back inside the world’s top 40.

Aussies in action – Queen’s Club

Men’s singles, semifinals
Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) d Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3 3-6 6-3


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