Ajla Tomljanovic, 29, admitted to “feeling like the villain” after being the one that ended Serena Williams’ career. In front of a sold out Arthur Ashe Stadium, Tomljanovic defeated Williams 7-5 6-7 (4) 6-1 to progress into the US Open round-of-16.
The crowd stood behind Williams and provided the best possible support to the American. Even though Tomljanovic didn’t play to lose, she admitted to having mixed feelings after the match. Tomljanovic would have been sad if she lost, but it definitely wasn’t all perfect about being the one who ended Williams’ career.
Also, Tomljanovic joked that one of the worst things will be hearing people pronounce her name on the wrong way.
Tomljanovic: I feel a little bit like the villain
“No one’s going to pronounce my name right,” Tomljanovic said.
“That’s going to suck. I don’t think I’ve of been part of tennis history [before], 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.
If I was the loser today I’d probably be really sad. I don’t want to say I’m sad, but just conflicted. Probably the most conflicted I’ve ever felt after a win. During the match I was so eager to win. I mean, I wanted to win as much as the next person because I didn’t look at her like, ‘oh, Serena, her last tournament’.
But then when it ended, it almost didn’t feel right. When she started talking about her family and everything, I got emotional because I can relate to having a strong bond with your family. When she said that she wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for them, I relate to that a lot.
Just the whole moment after was just tough to handle a little bit”. Tomljanovic is set to meet Liudmila Samsonova in the US Open round-of-16.