Ajla Tomljanovic opens up on doubts, fears she had during long injury period in 2023

Tomljanovic was able to start her 2023 season just in late August.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ajla Tomljanovic opens up on doubts, fears she had during long injury period in 2023
© Getty Images Sport - Mark Evans

Ajla Tomljanovic admits there were moments this year when she feared if she would be able to resume her career but now believes she can do "special things" in her return. Tomljanovic, who made back-to-back Grand Slam quarterfinals at 2022 Wimbledon and the US Open, was set to be a seeded player for the first time in her career at the 2023 Australian Open.

But then, Tomljanovic contracted a knee injury that forced her to miss the Australian Open and all tournaments leading up to Melbourne. After withdrawing from the Australian Open, Tomljanovic decided to surgically address her knee injury.

After what she called "minor procedure" on her knee, Tomljanovic was hoping to be back in "a few months." But Tomljanovic didn't kick off her 2023 season until the US Open in late August.

Tomljanovic: The doubt and the fear was there

“I’d be lying if this year there haven’t been random moments where I was with my team and I’m like, ‘this is just so unlucky what happened because I was at my best and I got so unlucky.'

You can’t control this injury, and the doubt and the fear was always that maybe this will be it. But I can’t live in the past, and I felt stupid calling it unfair when there were wars happening in the world and kids dying.

So I very quickly got it out of my system. I just want to accept it and move forward and just believe that if I get healthy I can still play my best tennis. And if I didn’t think that, I probably wouldn’t keep trying," Tomljanovic said.

Tomljanovic, who will be turning 31 in May, says she believes "special things" can happen in Australia and also revealed that she doesn't feel like she is 30. “I don’t feel like I’m 30 even though I am. I know my body doesn’t lie, but having just a few setbacks over the years, I do feel very fresh in my mind," Tomljanovic said.

Ajla Tomljanovic