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Ajla Tomljanovic’s Wimbledon journey is OVER after defeat by No 17 seed Elena Rybakina

Ajla Tomljanovic’s Wimbledon journey is OVER after Russia-born Elena Rybakina pulls off stunning comeback to book her place in the semi final

  • Ajla Tomljanovic’s Wimbledon journey is over after she lost in the quarter finals 
  • Russia-born Elena Rybakina pulled off a stunning comeback to win at SW19 
  • Unseeded Tomljanovic had no answer for the 23-year-old’s booming serve 

Here is an awkward one for the All England Club. A player born and raised in Russia is just two wins away from lifting the Wimbledon women’s singles title.

Of course, there is little organisers could have done to prevent Elena Rybakina from competing here given she now represents Kazakhstan.

But it is still a far from ideal scenario for a tournament which went out on a limb to ban players from Russia and Belarus, for fears their success could boost Vladimir Putin’s ‘propaganda machine’. Indeed, state broadcaster Russia Today have wasted no time in declaring Rybakina one of their own.

Ajla Tomljanovic’s Wimbledon journey is over after she lost her quarter final match in London

The 29-year-old made a fast start and took the first set over Elena Rybakina on Wednesday

 The 29-year-old made a fast start and took the first set over Elena Rybakina on Wednesday

However, the 23-year-old pulled off a stunning comeback to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in SW19

However, the 23-year-old pulled off a stunning comeback to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in SW19

The 23-year-old only switched allegiances four years ago after Kazakhstan offered her financial support.

Their ‘rent-a-Russian’ strategy has become quite a thing, with three of the top five ranked Kazakh women – including Rybakina – all hailing from Moscow.

But the controversial policy has at least now paid off, with Rybakina becoming the first male or female from her adopted country to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, beating Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 to set up a meeting with 2019 champion Simona Halep on Thursday.

Rybakina has become the first Kazakhstani tennis player to reach a Grand Slam semi final

Rybakina has become the first Kazakhstani tennis player to reach a Grand Slam semi final

‘It’s a tough question to say exactly what I feel,’ replied Rybakina when asked if she saw herself as Russian or Kazakh. ‘I was born in Russia, but I am really happy that I’m representing Kazakhstan.

‘They were looking for a player and I was looking for help. They believed in me. I’m feeling the support of the people because I’m bringing results which are very good for the sport in Kazakhstan.’

Rybakina did admit she felt sorry for the Russians who were barred from playing at Wimbledon. 

But when pressed on her thoughts on the country’s invasion of Ukraine, the 17th seed said: ‘I just want the war to end as soon as possible. For peace.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk