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Quote of the Day: Ajla Tomljanovic enters tennis history, dreads future trivia nights
The Aussie’s US Open victory over Serena Williams guarantees her a piece of the sport’s tapestry, something that fills her with mixed emotions in the aftermath of Williams’ retirement.
Published Sep 03, 2022
WATCH: Tomljanovic has been the star of Tennis Channel's My Tennis Life, documenting her life on tour.
When Zina Garrison became the last player to defeat Chris Evert at the 1989 US Open, she famously said, “It might not be the way I want people to remember me, but at least I'll be remembered.”
So, too, may be the case for Ajla Tomljanovic in the wake of her career-ending victory over Serena Williams in 2022, sending the 23-time Grand Slam champion into her evolution away from tennis.
Tomljanovic may yet achieve much more in her career; after all, the Croatian-born Aussie is in the midst of a career-best stretch—one that includes a second straight Wimbledon quarterfinal and a career-high ranking of No. 38 earlier this season. But if she were to follow Williams into retirement tomorrow, both her legacy and her place on a to-be-printed Trivial Pursuit card are secured.
The 29-year-old humorously reflected on her fate after the match:
Q. Your name is probably going to be the answer in a lot of trivia questions. What do you make of playing this part in tennis history?
AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: I mean, no one's going to pronounce my name right (laughter). That's going to suck.
But, I mean, I don't think I've of been part of tennis history, so that's pretty cool. I do feel a little bit like the villain. Like I said in Cincinnati, I really did want to play Serena before she retired.
But, yeah, I mean, if I was the loser today I'd probably be really sad. I don't want to say I'm sad, but just conflicted a little bit.
Into the second week of the US Open for the first time in her career, Tomljanovic could make that card even longer by rounding it out with a maiden major victory; unseeded and very much looming, she’ll play fellow fourth-round debutante Liudmila Samsonova for a spot in the quarterfinals.