Konta out to avenge Ajla defeat
TENNIS: Jo Konta’s opening round at Melbourne Park pits her against someone who has made the opposite journey in life.
The British No. 1 spent the first half of her life in Australia before heading to Europe, while Ajla Tomljanovic was heading the other way, born and raised in Croatia before heading Down Under and finally gaining citizenship a year ago.
Tomljanovic is known not just for her ranking of 47, but also for being the longstanding girlfriend of Nick Kyrgios.
This will be of scant relevance when they meet today.
More of an issue could be the fact the British player had to pull out of the Sydney International after a strange series of events caused by a sudden injury to her neck. Konta retired from the second qualifying round there, but was then given a ‘lucky loser’ slot, only to then pull out of the official first round when the injury failed to clear up as expected.
“I was warming up and my neck just seized up – I couldn’t turn left and I couldn’t look up so that made it particularly difficult to hit normal strokes and also serve,” she said. “It was just a bit of a random thing and unfortunate, but I can look up now.”
Konta began the season in Brisbane with a big win over Sloane Stephens but then lost to Tomljanovic.
“I don’t know if you guys have noticed but I seem to play the same players, usually, we sort of do a rotation,” she said.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to play someone I’ve just lost to who played very well and for me to try to do better, to try to immediately learn from how that match went.”
STAR BRIT: Johanna Konta.