Serena Williams he had his legion of fans on edge after winning the first two rounds of what appears to be his last US Open. Following the tease of the tennis icon’s retirement, the stands of Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens were packed in hopes of witnessing the triumphant end of Serena’s career at the American Grand Slam tournament. Unfortunately, the 40-year-old mother of one was eliminated in the third round 7-5, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 by competitor Ajla Tomljanovic. Find out more about the Australian tennis star who bested Serena, below!
Where is Ajla Tomljanović from?
Ajla, 29, was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and obtained Australian citizenship in 2018. The reason for the move was to improve her career, as reported by Sydney’s morning herald. Respected tennis coach David Taylor and influential IMG agent Max Eisenbud hatched a plan because “elite coaches don’t come cheap and the Croatian federation has nothing like the resources of an Australian system financed by a successful grand slam.” Soon Ajla was on the Down Under team.
What is Ajla’s career history?
The elite athlete has a win-loss record of 363-273. This is the first time he has reached the fourth round of the US Open. Ajla’s best Grand Slam run so far was at Wimbledon the last two years, where he reached the quarterfinals.
How about her ranking and record against Serena?
classified No. 46 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association currently, Ajla had her highest February ranking at No. 38. Her match against Serena on Friday was her first against the GOAT.
Ajla’s favorite artist is Rihanna.
Ajla is like us! The phenomenon puts the singer of “Umbrella” Rihanna at the top of his list, according to his bio on the WTA website. She also loves hip hop, Brad Pitt, the city of Charlotte, NC, and watching basketball. Don’t chew loudly around it, though, as it’s listed as a cause for concern.
He learned a trick from Novak Djokovic
Ajla received a useful hint from one of the best in tennis, Novak Djokovic. “I remember Novak saying once that he was asked about this a lot, when the crowd was against him, he would just pretend it was for him,” he revealed. NBC Sports. “When they sing, I don’t know, Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer), whoever, listen to Novak, Novak, I liked that answer.”
He added that he also used meditation to his advantage. “When the crowd gets involved, that’s what can affect you,” he explained to the outlet. “But I think if I stay inside my little bubble, I have my corner that I go to when I need help just for support, I block it out as much as I can, I think all my meditation that I do here and there, I’m going to try to meditate all the day tomorrow”.