Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovich got up this morning expecting a round two matchup against the San Jose defending champion Madison Keys. Before the match, she found that Keys was withdrawing due to a wrist injury and that a lucky loser would step in. Poland’s world no. 121 Magdalena Frech was the lucky one.
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Slideshow Photos: SAN JOSE, CA – AUGUST 02: Lucky Loser Magdalena Frech of Poland returns a shot to Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia during Day 4 of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at Spartan Tennis Complex on August 2, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
“I am really sorry to have to pull out of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic,” said Keys. “I have been feeling pain in my wrist over the last couple of days and felt worse today.
“This event is one of my favorites and I was looking forward to playing here in San Jose, but want to thank the San Jose State University and Mubadala for pulling it together in such a short amount of time. I am excited to come back next year and play in front of your great fans.”
After the match Tomljanovich was asked if that affected her preparation but she said it did not make a difference, she had the advantage of having played the Pole in late 2017 when she earned a 7-5, 7-5 win at the Dubai tournament in the quarterfinals.
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Photo: SAN JOSE, CA – AUGUST 02: Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia returns a shot to Magdalena Frech of Poland during Day 4 of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at Spartan Tennis Complex on August 2, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The first set saw five breaks of serve with Tomljanovich getting three of the five to set up herself to serve for the set at 5-4. A double fault on set point for Tomljanovich saw the first opportunity slip. Frech then hit long to give another set point and after a long rally with good deep shotsTomljanovich finally closed out the set.
In the first game of the second set Tomljanovic had a break point but did not convert.
At 30-0 in the second game gave she served consecutive double faults, for 30-30. This was followed by a missed volley that gave Frech a breakpoint. It was converted with Tomljanovic well on top in the rally before she missed a midcourt groundstroke to hand Frech a 2-0 lead in the second set. A big swing in momentum.
Tomljanovic was making too many unforced errors in the second set and that allowed her Polish opponent to win the set 6-3.
In the third set, Tomljanovic was up 1-0 with Frech serving. Frech was 40-0 before Tomljanovich fought back to get the break of serve.
An error, then a double fault saw Frech out to 0-30. Frech had a breakpoint at 30-40 but Tomjlanovic fought hard to save the point. She followed up with an ace and then an unforced error from Frech saw the Australian take a 3-0 lead.
Errors again crept into the game of Tomljanovic as she served at 3-1, she fell behind 0-30, she got back to 30-30 before an error gave Frech a break point but some big hitting saved the point.
Frech now stepped up the power and earned another break point. The point was saved, but in the next point, Tomljanovic hit long after a tough long rally to see another break point against her. A big second serve saw Frech miss into the net. After saving three break points the Australian held serve to lead 4-1.
Tomljanovic earned another break point at 4-1 but Frech hit a nice deep forehand that forced an error. Tomljanovic was in control on the next point but then badly missed a swing volley to give Frech AD. At deuce, Frech served an ace, her second for the match.
Again the Australian struggled on serve and was broken to love to get the Pole back on serve, serving at 3-4.
After dropping serve Tomljanovich seemed to be more relaxed and was swinging freely to earn three break points, the point to take her to 0-40 came with a powerful down the line winner. Frech saved one point with a good deep shot however then hit long on the next point to hand the break to her opponent.
Tomljanonich was now serving for the match at 5-3, and as she had been doing often in earlier games she fell behind 0-15. She got back to 15-15 but then served a double fault to fall behind 15-30. A huge second serve forced an error from Frech to level the scores at 30-30, then a big forehand winner earned a match point, but a double fault conceded the point. Deuce
Both players were playing safe before Tomljanovich hit a shot on the line for a winner and a second match point. Finally, she closed out the match after two hours and 11 minutes.
The win was a lot harder than it should have been due to a poor first serve, but in the end the win was hers.
Tomljanovich faces No.5 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu, the Australian will need to improve her serve to have a chance to advance.
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Photo: SAN JOSE, CA – AUGUST 02: Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania returns a shot to Amanda Anisimova of the United States during Day 4 of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic at Spartan Tennis Complex on August 2, 2018 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)