Tennis News: Ajla Tomljanovic returns and Rafael Nadal's coincidence

  • Tomljanovic keeps battling
  • Nadal gives the press advice about Sinner and Alcaraz
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Ajla Tomljanovic has the skills to be great and she might have the drive to get there, but her body doesn't want her to play tennis very often. She has managed seven matches in 2024 but she still plays so infrequently that she cannot get back into the kind of form that allowed her to reach a rank of 32 in early 2023.

She would be good for tennis if the 31 year old could make one last grasp at winning a title or two. She never has won an event but that has not stopped her from being extremely popular and a standout on an early season of Netflix's Break Point. She has charisma, but the Australian's fame might yet be to come post-tennis.

She is still fighting, however. This includes playing in the Parma Ladies Open which begins on May 13. This is only a WTA 125 event and occurs when many of the top players have been participating in the Italian Open in Rome, a Masters 1000 tournament. But Tomljanovic needs matches to try to improve her stamina and form. Entering an event where she might play one match and is done does not help her.

Ajla Tomljanovic returns but Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz won't meet Rafael Nadal

Tomljanovic confirmed she will play in Parma on her Instagram account. She wrote in part, "I'm really excited to announce that I'll be coming to Parma to compete at the Parma Ladies Open. It's been a while since I've been back in Italy. I've never been to Parma so I'm excited to explore the city, see all the passionate fans and of course the food. Can't wait to see you all there."

Now tennis fans just need to hope she performs well.

Speaking of performing, Rafael Nadal is trying to get back into peak form ahead of late May's French Open. He has won that event 14 times, of course, and even when he is not in peak form he will be one of the prohibitive favorites, whether he likes that designation or not. Nadal has battled various injuries over the last two years but at least was able to play in the Italian Open that began this week.

Two other players who had to withdraw from the Rome tournament, though, are ATP No. 2 Jannik Sinner and No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz. Sinner and Alcaraz are bothered by injuries and do not want to risk missing the French Open or causing themselves further injury. Not playing in Rome allows them to rest before getting to Roland Garros, at least that is their hope.

In a pre-tournament press conference, Nadal addressed Alcaraz and Sinner withdrawing from the Italian Open by saying, "The injuries have always there. That's the truth. I understand that for (the press) Jannik not playing here is (terrible news), especially the way he's playing this year. But, I mean, we can talk about that for hours because at the end we have been talking about that for so many years. Now with Carlos and with Jannik not playing here, the conversation is on the table again. Nothing changed. Just the coincidence that two of the best players of the world are injured today."

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