Croatian-born tennis player, Ajla Tomljanovi?, has made a splash in the fashion world with her recent collaboration with the esteemed Vogue Australia. The former professional player, who has represented Australia on the court since 2014, shared the cover of the magazine and several additional photographs on her Instagram account, delighting her fans and followers.
In a heartfelt post, Tomljanovic expressed her disbelief at the opportunity to work with such a prestigious publication, saying, "Wow still can’t believe we actually did this @vogueaustralia I remember shooting this and thinking I’ll believe it when I see it ? Feeling incredibly grateful?"
Growing Up in Croatia
In an interview with Vogue, Tomljanovic delved into her upbringing in Croatia, sharing, "I was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and early on I spent four years in Switzerland because my dad was playing handball there.
I don’t remember much, but from home videos. I know that was where I started seeing tennis a lot because my parents would play together. Then we moved back to Croatia just before I started school. It’s weird because when I look now, I mean I’m 29 and I’ve spent the past 15 years in America, but so much of my life.
I really remember was in Croatia. It was so influential. I had a really old coach and he taught me my technique and how I see the game. It was the place where I figured out I wanted to be a professional and that this was my passion”.
The Match Against Serena Williams
In addition to reflecting on her upbringing, Tomljanovic also touched on one of the most significant moments of her professional tennis career: her match against Serena Williams. She recalled, “I found out I was playing Serena seconds after I’d won my second-round match, and I felt strange.
I was happy to get the opportunity to play her because I’ve never faced her and she’s the greatest of all time, but there was a little bit of fear, like, I can do this, but can I do it because of the occasion and the circumstances?” Despite her initial nerves, Tomljanovic revealed that she was able to channel her emotions into a powerful performance on the court.
She explained, “The pep talks [helped], but literally a few minutes before going on, the tournament supervisor came up to me and was like, ‘Ajla, you’re going out first. Please take the chair right from the umpire and then we’re going to do a two-minute video and then Serena’s going to walk out.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean a video? What am I going to do there for two minutes?’ So there was a little bit of anger, good anger in a way.
I understand the occasion, but come on. And that helped me be more of a, excuse my language, but more of a bitch. Like, okay, I’m here, I also want to win this. From there it was pretty much instinct”. The match, which took place in 2019, was one of the most-watched events in the history of ESPN and solidified Tomljanovic's place as a formidable opponent on the international tennis circuit.
With her recent foray into the world of fashion and her undeniable talent on the court, it's clear that the sky's the limit for this ambitious athlete.