Roland Garros, 🇫🇷🐌 R1 Preview + Prediction
(18) 🇳🇱 Kiki Bertens vs 🇦🇺 Ajla Tomljanovic
Kiki Bertens looms as a dark horse heading into Roland Garros 2017. Bertens made her big breakthrough at the event last year when she reached the semi-finals of the tournament, Bertens arrives in Paris on a high after winning the title in Nuremburg. Bertens takes on Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round in Paris, a potentially dangerous first round opponent for Bertens.
Continue reading Kiki Bertens vs Ajla Tomljanovic, Roland Garros R1 Preview
Abierto Mexicano TELCEL, 🇲🇽🍐 Acapulco R1 Preview
(6) 🇨🇦 Eugenie Bouchard to defeat 🇦🇺 Ajla Tomljanovic
Ajla Tomljanovic will make her long-awaited return to competitive action on Tuesday when she takes on the sixth seeded Eugenie Bouchard in the opening round in Acapulco. Tomljanovic has not played a competitive match in over a year due to a shoulder injury. It is likely to be a tough return for Tomljanovic, but winning or losing will not be her main concern here, just getting through the match without pain would be a win for the talented Australian. Whilst, it is essential that Bouchard claim a victory here.
Continue reading Eugenie Bouchard vs Ajla Tomljanovic, Acapulco R1 Preview
Australian Open R1: Ajla Tomljanovic vs Kateryna Bondarenko
Ajla Tomljanovic will be representing Australia at Melbourne Park for the second year in 2016 and will start her Australian Open campaign with a first round match against Kateryna Bondarenko. Tomljanovic’s preparations for the first Grand Slam of the year have unfortunately been hampered by injury, it will be interesting to see to what extent Ajla has recovered and whether she can navigate her way through a very winnable first round match.
Tomljanovic started the year at her home town event at the Brisbane International, unfortunately for Ajla she didn't last long. Ajla was thrashed by Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-2 in the opening round, the adopted Australian was clearly struggling with an abdominal injury and was a shadow of her best. Ajla decided to withdraw from the Sydney International and has been in Melbourne training for about 1 week and seems to be in a much better position to compete at a much higher level.
Kateryna Bondarenko made a solid start to the season in Brisbane, picking up victories over Sakkari and Osaka as she progressed though the qualifying draw. However, the Ukrainian suffered a disappointing first round loss to Madison Brengle in the main draw and made it back-to-back first round losses a week later in Hobart where she was defeated by Parmentier in the first round of qualifying in Hobart.
This will be the first ever meeting between Ajla and Kateryna, both will see this as a real opportunity to advance to the second round. I expect Tomljanovic to get the victory here, this is a really important match for her as she will be desperate to impress the Australian public at some stage during this Australian summer, a first round loss would be pretty disastrous. Bondarenko hasn’t won a match in Melbourne since 2010 and is a very average player. Tomljanovic certainly has far more class and ability should find a way to win this one.
Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to defeat Kateryna Bondarenko in 3 sets
Brisbane R1: (6) Carla Suarez Navarro vs (wc) Ajla Tomljanovic
An interesting first round clash from the Brisbane International sees sixth seed Carla Suarez Navarro come up against local wild-card Ajla Tomljanovic. This is an important match for both ladies who thrive off momentum and confidence, both will see this as a winnable match.
Carla Suarez Navarro made a spectacular start to 2015 but her form deteriorated significantly towards the end of the year. The Spaniard will be rejuvenated heading into 2016 and can draw confidence from her results during the first half of 2015. Carla has generally struggled in Brisbane, winning just 3 matches from her previous 4 appearances at the event. The fast courts don’t suit her game.
Brisbane resident Ajla Tomljanovic has once again been awarded a wild card to the event. Ajla had a really disappointing season in 2015, consistently underachieving and letting herself down. Ajla has seemingly had a successful offseason, taking part in the IPTL where she was able to train with fellow competitors. 2016 is a big year for Ajla, she will want to impress in Australia and show the public what she is capable of, something she is yet to do.
Carla holds a perfect 2-0 record over Ajla, both victories were in 2014. A 6-3 6-3 win at Roland Garros and a 3-6 6-2 6-1 win at the US Open. Ajla certainly has the ability to trouble Carla, Brisbane seems like the perfect place to avenge her previous losses to the Spaniard. Ajla is very comfortable with the conditions in Brisbane, having trained at the Queensland Tennis Centre during the offseason. The fast conditions will help Ajla in this match-up, she has all the weapons to hurt Carla and start her season on a high.
Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to defeat Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets
U.S Open R1: Ajla Tomljanovic vs Karin Knapp
There were big expectations placed upon Ajla Tomljanovic heading into 2015, however the Australian has failed to fire. Ajla has one last big opportunity to make an impact in 2015, starting with a winnable first round clash against Italy’s Karin Knapp.
Ajla Tomljanovic’s form during the U.S Open was typical of her season, there were glimpses of brilliance but some incredible lows. Ajla picked up an impressive come from behind victory over Madison Keys to reach the quarter-finals in Stanford where she would succumb to Karolina Pliskova. Ajla played some stunning tennis in the final set against Keys, it’s a shame we don’t get to see her play at that level very often. Ajla’s preparation for New York ended on a sour note, thumped by Irina Falconi in the final round of qualifying in Connecticut.
Karin Knapp has shown reasonable form over the last few months, her ranking is steadily rising and she only just missed out on a seeding in New York. Knapp went on deep runs in Bad Gastein and Baku but her results during the U.S Open series weren’t so great. Knapp suffered a humiliating 0-6 0-6 loss to Roberta Vinci in the first round of the Rogers Cup before reaching the third round in Cincinnati where she was smashed by Serena Williams 0-6 2-6.
Knapp defeated Tomljanovic 7-5 6-2 in Hobart earlier this year in what was their only previous encounter. Both Ajla and Karin will see this as an opportunity for a rare Grand Slam victory, it’s a tough one to call. I’m going to side with Tomljanovic. Ajla’s upside is far greater, hopefully she will bring her a-game to Flushing Meadows, I have a feeling she will.
Prediction: Ajla Tomljanovic to defeat Karin Knapp in 2 sets