Birmingham, Great Britain, 24 June 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Ajla Tomljanovic’s impressive run at a WTA 250 tournament in Birmingham this week did not go unnoticed.

The 31-year-old Australian defeated four top-60 opponents to charge into her first tour-level singles final in more than five years, before Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva denied her quest to hold aloft a maiden WTA singles title.

Despite her 6-1 7-6(8) loss to world No.41 Putintseva, Tomljanovic was proud of her efforts.

“I’m very happy that I got to the final considering how my past 18 months have looked,” said world No.190 Tomljanovic, who underwent knee surgery in 2023 and was then sidelined by a uterine procedure earlier this season.

“I think there’s a lot that I can still improve on, but the great thing is that this whole week I’ve managed to find ways to wins even when my back was against the wall, and that’s a skill in itself that I’ve always tried to develop more.”

Tomljanovic demonstrated her tenacious spirit in the final, where she recovered from a 1-6 0-2 deficit. She almost extended the match into a deciding set, holding multiple set points in a tense finish to the second set.

“It’s never easy losing in a final, but I really tried my best today,” Tomljanovic acknowledged.

Tomljanovic’s spirits were soon lifted, with Wimbledon awarding her with its final main-draw singles wildcard.

The two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist had entered the Grand Slam tournament with a protected ranking of world No.33. However, receiving a wildcard means Tomljanovic can now save her protected ranking, which can only be used at a limited number of events, for later in the season.

“I’m feeling good about Wimbledon,” said Tomljanovic, a winner in 19 of her past 25 grass-court singles matches.

“I have some time (now) to take care of my body, get in good shape and feel fresh.”

Aussies in action – Birmingham

Women’s singles, final
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) d Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-1 7-6(8)

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