The Australian tennis scene has been dealt a devastating blow as Ajla Tomljanovic, their most prominent WTA player, pulled out of the French Open due to a persistent knee injury. This withdrawal has shattered a historic streak, leaving Australia without a direct entrant in the women’s singles at the prestigious tournament for the first time in 55 years.
Having not played since last year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November, world No.46 Tomljanovic was hoping to finally return to competition at the 2023 French Open. Talking to the media ahead of the clay-court major in Paris, the Croatian-born Australian revealed a heartbreaking truth that she still needed more time to properly recover her body. A lucky loser will replace her.
With the withdrawal of the highest-ranked WTA player representing Australia, the country will not have a direct entrant in the women’s singles draw at Roland Garros for the first time since the Open Era began in 1968. Australian wildcard Kim Birrell, ranked 111th in the world, is the only female confirmed in the women’s singles draw.
Remarkably, even while sidelined by her knee injury, Tomljanovic managed to reach a career-high ranking of No.32 in early April. In a candid comment, she reflected on the irony of her achievement, stating, “It always happens when you stop caring about it.” (source: Yahoo, photo: Jimmie48)