Putintseva defeats Tomljanovic in Birmingham Classic final to lift third WTA title

Yulia Putintseva lifted her first grass-court WTA title on Sunday by beating Ajla Tomljanovic in the final

Yulia Putinsteva, Birmingham, 2024 Yulia Putinsteva, Birmingham, 2024 © Action Plus / Panoramic
Rothesay Classic Birmingham •Final • completed
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Yulia Putintseva beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-1, 7-6 (8) to win the Birmingham Open final at Edgbaston Priory Club on Sunday.

In a gripping final, a one-sided opening-set win for the Kazakh gave way to an excellent fightback in the second from Tomljanovic.

Putintseva raced into a 6-1 first-set victory as her power and consistent depth completely overwhelmed the Australian. Playing in her fifth WTA final having never previously won a title, Tomljanovic looked overawed at the quality from across the net as she struggled to keep up with the blistering Putintseva.

As she fell a break behind early in the second, the Birmingham crowd feared the worst for the Australian. But Tomljanovic, a wonderful grass-court player with superb fighting abilities, once again showed her mettle and gave the crowd a fitting final.

She broke back immediately, before striking again in the seventh game as she found her range and rhythm to unsettle a visibly frustrated Putintseva.

But as she served for the second set at 5-4 up, Tomljanovic stuttered, being broken by her opponent to drag proceedings into a tiebreak.

Despite rallying again from 4-1 down in the breaker, and saving two championship points, Putintseva’s relentless power eventually told as she clinched her third WTA title on her third match point.

“It’s never easy losing in a final. I tried my best today,” Tomljanovic said.

“Yulia you had an amazing week. You lost only one set. Your first title on grass – congratulations and best of luck at Wimbledon.

“You guys have been amazing. The attendance at the event has always been through the roof. When you haven’t played for a while you really notice these things. We really appreciate it as players.”

Putintseva then spoke of her delight at having found her feet on grass, having always been more of a clay-courter.

“It’s my first title on grass. I don’t know what I’m feeling. It’s great and it’s confusing because I was always good on clay. But now all of a sudden I’m good on grass. I’ll take that.”

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