Tomljanovic buoyed by tennis return

Ajla Tomljanovic's return to competitive tennis got off to a fantastic start before rain washed away her chance of winning the four-player UTR Pro Match Series.

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC of Australia.
AJLA TOMLJANOVIC of Australia. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Australian ace Ajla Tomljanovic was thrilled to make her return to competitive tennis in Florida but her hopes of winning the UTR Pro Match Series were washed out by rain.

World No.56 Tomljanovic had a win and a loss in the three-day Fast4 format event, which was played at a private court in West Palm Beach.

In her first match since COVID-19 suspended professional tennis, Tomljanovic defeated 19th-ranked American Alison Riske 4-3 (4) 4-1 on Friday.

"Just getting in the competitive spirit again got me really excited," Tomljanovic said.

After a three-set loss to world No.28 Amanda Anisimova on Saturday, Tomljanovic faced Danielle Collins with the winner to advance to the final.

The match was locked at one set-all when rain forced the match to be postponed.

With heavy rain continuing on Sunday, event organisers cancelled the remainder of the event.

The UTR Pro Match Series followed strict social distancing rules with no fans, only an umpire overseeing proceedings, no line umpires or ball-kids, separate off-court warm-up areas and players using their own marked tennis balls.

Tomljanovic, who is based in the USA, relished the chance to return to competition.

"For me personally, I need that competitiveness to keep me going," she said.

Tomljanovic will next compete in a 16-player invitational team event exhibition at Charleston, South Carolina, from June 23.

The WTA Tour is suspended until the end of July.


AAP