Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic says she wants to make a bigger push in 2020 after beating former five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova at the Kooyong Classic on Thursday. Tomljanovic defeated Sharapova 6-1, 1-6 (11-9) for her first win over the Russian in three attempts.
Speaking to The Age, Tomljanovic says, "Any match you can get on this kind of stage where it is not a practice court is really great, in front of a crowd and against such a good competitor like Maria doesn't feel like an exhibition so it's a pretty good preparation for me."
Tomljanovic peaked at No. 39 in the world rankings last year before ending the season at No. 52. She says, "It's always to just push more and I think that I am kind of getting wiser every year and I learn something new about myself and somehow I always think I can improve even more in my game as well, which I think I have done in the off-season but there's always every week I can build.
So I just want to make a bigger push this year." Sharapova, who is ranked No. 145 in the world, and needed a wild card to play in the Australian Open, says, "Ajla did a much better job of handling the [gusty] conditions today in the first [set] and I just was being a little bit more aggressive in the second and putting a little more pressure on her."
The Russian has struggled with injuries for most of the 2019 season and hopes to build some momentum for the 2020 season in Melbourne.