Who is Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini's girlfriend? Ajla Tomljanovic volleyed his heart
Currently ranked No 9 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), 25-year-old Italian champion Matteo Berrettini is all geared up to make history. He will face Serbian tennis star and World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon Men's Finals on July 11. Berrettini created history after beating Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the semi-finals, becoming the first Italian -- man or woman -- to have reached the Wimbledon final. If he defeats the Serbian, Berrettini will be the first Italian to have won the Wimbledon Championship.
People who tuned into Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova's Wimbledon women's singles match on July 10 might have seen Barty's excitement after winning and trying to climb into her team box to hug her boyfriend Gary Kissick. Berrettini's girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic is a tennis player herself, straight from the land that Barty belongs to, and is ranked 75th by the Women's Tennis Association. Tomljanovic has been watching Berrettini in all his matches unless she is playing a tournament somewhere, and she appears to be his number one fan and supporter. As Berrettini attempts to defeat Djokovic, which will help him climb up on the ranking by 6 points and claim the third spot in world rankings, Tomljanovic is poised to bring her A-game while cheering him on as he takes center court at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.
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Who is Ajla Tomljanovic?
According to her bio on WTA Tour, Tomljanovic started playing tennis at age 7 after being introduced to the game by her sister Hana. She initially played for Croatia, her country of birth, but started competing for Australia since 2014 at the US Open after she obtained permanent residency at the land down under. Tomljanovic speaks three languages - Croatian, English, and German. She loves Brad Pitt, hip-hop is her go to music genre and she loves Rihanna's music; her favorite place to be in the United States is Charlotte, North Carolina. Her favorite sport is tennis but prefers to watch basketball. Her best tennis memory is when was was on court for the first time with Chris Evert.
Tomljanovic played her first career event in the year 2007 at the ITF/Zagreb, a professional tournament in Croatia. She played her first WTA event in 2009, and in 2018 she enjoyed her career best and ended at No 43 on the rankings. Tomljanovic competed in Wimbledon 2021 but was defeated by Ash Barty in the semi finals.
Tomljanovic also ended up engaging in a verbal spat with her Latvian competitor Jelena Ostapenko in the championships after the latter requested a medical timeout. "You know she's lying," Tomljanovic told the umpire about Ostapenko, who was trailing 4-0 in the third set. They continued dueling outside the net. "If you think I'm faking it, you can talk with the physio. Your behavior is terrible. You have zero respect," Ostapenko said.
"She can say she was injured. I don't think she was," Tomljanovic said. "I think it was a clear reason she wanted to get me off my game. Game-wise, there was nothing wrong with her. I think it is disgraceful behavior from someone who is a Slam champion. If she was injured, she could have gone about it in a better way," she added at the press conference after the match ended. Ostapenko on the other hand commented on Tomljanovic's "bad and disrespectful behavior".
Matteo Berrettini does NOT prefer watching Tomljanovic play
Speaking to Wimbledon channel on July 4, Berrettini said, “I feel like 10 times more stressed watching her match than when I’m playing my match. So I like it when we’re playing at the same time." His girlfriend Tomljanovic was going to face Britain's Emma Raducanu on Monday, July 5, around the same time as he was taking on Ilya Ivashka.
“I finished first, like five minutes before. I’m playing best of five, so I didn’t know if she won her match because they weren’t showing the score. So I was like ‘maybe she finished before me, maybe she’s coming here'. Then I was like making movies; maybe she lost, maybe she’s upset. I stepped out of the court and my coach said it was 5-1. Then I saw it was 15-40 and I was like ‘oh no’. I would rather play than watch her match," the doting boyfriend said.
In an interview in 2020, the couple agreed that happiness off the court is of importance and a player's fortunes on court depend on it. “It’s important to find someone who understands what you’re doing. It’s not easy being on tour for nine, 10 months a year and if you can be with someone who understands that, I think it’s a plus. Being able to feel free about this … is really important for both of us, for our career and our happiness in general," Berrettini said.
“I think that if you’re happy off the court it’s definitely going to help your career but at the same time you’ve got to be smart about how you’re going to balance it,” Tomljanovic said. "I really believe that the happiness in general and in life can really help your career. I don’t know if that was the secret but there are some examples where that really works," she added.