Tomljanovic about Chris Evert: ‘We love each other’

Ajla Tomljanovic, once again a Wimbledon quarter-finalist, went public on her true friendship with her mentor Chris Evert

Ajla Tomljanovic, Wimbledon 2022 Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia celebrates at Wimbledon 2022 | © Takuya Matsumoto/AP/SIPA

Ajla Tomljanovic is open on the fact that she lacks confidence in herself and that she didn’t think she was able to be back at the quarter-finals stage at Wimbledon. In that context, the Australian went public on the big help she gets from American legend Chris Evert, who is in London at the moment.

“We’ve been in contact a lot, actually over the past few months we’ve been talking more than ever,” said Tomljanovic during her press conference on Tuesday, after winning against Alizé Cornet in the round of 16 of Wimbledon.

“She’s been there for me, like, this year a lot. It’s been so nice.”

Ajla Tomljanovic, Chicago 2021
Ajla Tomljanovic, Chicago 2021 – Zuma / Panoramic

Tomljanovic, who broke up with boyfriend Matteo Berrettini, indicated that the two women have deep discussions about life in general, with Evert treated for ovarian cancer during the first half of the year.

“I kind of felt at one point bad. She was going through something, if you want to talk about problems in life, that’s something that’s scary. I remember one time telling her, ‘Oh, my gosh, I don’t want to bother you with my problems because you’re doing something way harder’. She’s like, ‘No, no, I love, in a way, the distraction’,” she smiled.

We were there for each other in that way

Anjla Tomljanovic on Chris Evert

Tomljanovic continued: “We love each other, so we were there for each other in that way.”

Regarding tennis, Evert, who won Wimbledon three times in 1974, 1976 and 1981, is considered by Tomljanovic as a part of her time this year at the All England Club.

“She texted me before the match that she believes in me and that I need to believe that I belong here. She called me right away after. It’s like surreal. Chris Evert is calling me after I made the quarters ! To me, she’s just Chrissie. I’m very blessed to have her in my corner, that’s for sure. She repeated, like, three times : ‘Ajla, you’re in the quarterfinals again’,” Tomljanovic explained.

Chris Evert is seen during centre court centenary celebrations, Wimbledon, July 3, 2022 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

“I think she repeated it, like, because I wasn’t saying much, I was just kind of laughing at her. She just kept saying how happy she is for me. I said something like : ‘Can you believe I’m here after, I don’t know, a couple months ago, the conversations we were having ?’ She said ‘No, I actually do believe that you’re here because you always work hard’. Like one of the hardest workers that she’s seen, but there was always something missing for that extra step.

You’re like in the five-people circle

Ajla Tomljanovic on Chris Evert

She’s just so thrilled that I’m doing it now. The fact that I kind of repeated what I did last year also solidifies that it wasn’t, I don’t know, a fluke I guess. She’s like :’I’m going to let you go because you probably have so many people talking to you’. I’m like : ‘Actually, I don’t. You’re like in the five-people circle’. Hopefully I’m going to catch her tomorrow on-site.”

Tomljanivic broke down in tears after her victory against Alize Cornet. Her opponent in Wednesday’s quarter-final will be Elena Rybakina.

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