Celebrity

Meet Ajla Tomljanovic, The Australian Tennis Star Making History At The US Open

From her famous partners to her successful career.

By Jess Pullar
Ajla Tomljanovic had just played the biggest game of her career when she told media that she was "sorry".
The tennis star had been placed in an unprecedented position of playing Serena Williams for her final match in the third round of the US Open—though she didn't necessarily know it.
As the tense game took place, the crowd was overwhelmingly on Williams' side—it wasn't hard to see why given she's one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Many people wanted Williams to progress to the final, and better yet, to win the whole thing after she announced the championship would be her last before she retired from the sport.
But Tomljanovic was fierce and fast, she managed to defeat the 23-time Grand Slam champion two sets to one. Until that moment, the 46th seed had kept a pretty low-key presence in the sport. Suddenly, she became one of the most talked-about athletes in the world.
"I'm feeling really sorry just because I love Serena just as much as you guys do," Tomljanovic said following the win.
"What she's done for me, for the sport of tennis is incredible.
"I never thought I'd have a chance to play her in her last match when I remember watching her in all those finals, so this is a surreal moment for me."
It was an extremely humble way to respond to the most important moment of her career to date. Now, she's progressed further in the tournament, and naturally, everyone wants to know more about her.
Below, meet Australia's fastest rising tennis star, Ajla Tomljanovic.

Who is Ajla Tomljanovic?

Ajla Tomljanovic is a 29-year-old Australian tennis player currently ranked 46th in the world.
Tomljanovic's parents are from Croatia and Bosnia, and she was born in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, before moving to Florida aged 14 where she began tennis training. In 2008, she competed in her first professional tournament, the ITF Circuit in Mexico City.
The tennis star then began playing professional tennis for Australia in 2014, and in 2018, she officiated things by becoming an Australian citizen. Over the past couple of years, Tomljanovic has had some impressive successes including making it to the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2021 and 2020.

Does she have a partner?

It appears Tomljanovic is currently single after splitting with Italian tennis player, Matteo Berrettini earlier this year.
Their relationship, which began in 2019, was well known among tennis fans. The pair often sharing pictures together on Instagram, and they also attended the Met Gala together in 2021.
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Speaking to media about his single status while competing at the US Open in September, Berrettini said, "Yeah, I'm single but it's not like something that I am looking for, like, it's not that I'm waking up and have to find love."
Prior to her relationship with Berrettini, Tomljanovic dated Australian tennis player, Nick Kyrgios. The pair were together from 2015 to 2017.
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What has she said about her career?

Before her big win against Williams, Tomljanovic said she would try to push through the pressure by staying in a "little bubble".
"I don't want to build it up too much. I already know who she is... I think if I just stay within my little bubble, have my corner that I go to when I need help just for support, block it out as much as I can, [I will be OK]."
Later, she told media that she believed her immense success this tournament had happened for a reason: "I think a lot of heartbreaks that have happened over a long time, I feel like what goes around comes around moment for me."
"Especially the long matches that I've lost in the past, now I'm winning them. I think for that reason I'm more calm in those moments. It just feels nice, like the work is paying off."
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  • undefined: Jessica Pullar