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February 10, 2021

Ajla Tomljanovic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

S. HALEP/A. Tomljanovic

4-6, 6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Incredible match tonight. Talk us through your emotions and how you're feeling.

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: It's hard, very hard to talk about it right now and see any sort of positives. At the end of the day all I wanted to do is just get a win in any way, even if it was the worst tennis ever. I think that's my emotions speaking now. I know it was a high-level match, but in the end I lost, so that's kind of what's the dominant feeling.

Q. Obviously so close to victory, you could touch it. It would have been your first moving through to the third round since kind of the French Open 2014 I think. What were you thinking when you reached that point? Did you let yourself think about that next step?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: Yeah, a little bit, for sure, subconsciously I did feel like I was incredibly close. But at the same time I knew she would never give it to me easy. She did exactly what I expected. She raised her level. Didn't give me much till the end.

Yeah, looking back, I mean, I wish I could have stayed maybe a little bit more aggressive but I did take some shots and missed. I wouldn't say I have crazy regrets that I would do something very different. It's just those moments that you just gotta win those four points to finish it.

Q. The fifth time against Simona. Same result, but this one felt like you were maybe obviously that much closer. Did this feel like the best you have ever played against her, maybe the best you played?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: I think this was the best I have played her when she also played well. I think there was the time in Cincinnati I felt like I was playing well, as well, but she wasn't maybe as sharp.

But this time I felt like it was really like toe to toe. Those two games at 3-2 that I won in the third I think were really -- you know, I thought maybe she would kind of feel -- because I really played those two so well, played so aggressive, with new balls, especially.

But, I mean, she's not 2 in the world for nothing.

Q. You're one of the Australian players who spent so much time on the road last year. Can you explain sort of how that worked and how you see this year going forward with all the quarantine rules that they have here, and how do you feel like you're going to manage it?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: I'm not looking further than tomorrow. That's what I have learned from last year. Getting ahead of the schedule or anything what's gonna happen in the world has been the biggest mistake I have made all last year, and it definitely cost me mentally a little bit.

So I saw the schedule of the WTA, but I don't look further than next week. Whatever happens, I think I'll have a way of kind of approaching the situation better. Even if it's quarantine or a bubble, we're all in the same boat, but I think I have better tools to manage it, but everything's such an unknown. Anything can change any second.

So I don't want to take anything for granted in that sense. Even moments like these. I think just playing out there today felt so incredible, like, I haven't -- last year same time was the time I felt that rush of people just cheering for you, and especially in front of our home crowd, it was unbelievable. I'm afraid to say it, but it could be the highlight of the year, in that way, with the atmosphere and the crowd.

Q. I know it's obviously still raw for you. How do you get over a loss like that? Are you someone who tries to get away from it all, or do you just go back into training as hard as you can? What do you do?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: Unfortunately this one feels like maybe if I don't wake up tomorrow and force myself to keep going and kind of just put it behind me, it could sting for a while. I don't want to get in that -- I just don't think it's a smart way, smart road to go down, because there's -- of course naturally, as a human being, there is a reason why it should linger and it should maybe affect me negatively, but there is also another way to look at it. I mean, three months ago I didn't know if I was capable of playing a match like this, so I think there is a really good way to look at it.

Fingers crossed, I will. I do believe that I will. I've got incredible people around me that are, like, here or even a phone call away. I have learned to share thoughts, feelings, and not put it all on myself.

So it's gonna hurt for maybe a few days, but I'll get back into training and playing next week.

Q. Result aside, is it too early to sort of like, can you say that that was maybe one of the best matches that you have played in terms of the quality?

AJLA TOMLJANOVIC: Yeah. I mean, for sure it was -- I mean, I'm getting messages that it was really high quality, so, and people have said it, but it's hard to kind of take a step back right away and feel, because it was a lot of adrenaline and I was just playing with instinct a lot.

But just knowing what a great competitor and player Simona is, just logically, yeah, I must have played well.

But it's very hard to -- I'm a competitor at the end of the day, so right now I don't care how great it was. You know, I lost.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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