Playing in her first competitive match in 13 months, Ajla Tomljanovic stunned No.6 seed Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets to move into the second round at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel.
WTA Staff

ACAPULCO, Mexico - Ajla Tomljanovic stunned the No.6 seed Eugenie Bouchard in their opening encounter at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel, notching a win in her first competitive match since January 2016.

Tomljanovic entered Acapulco with a special ranking of No.75 after shoulder injury and subsequent surgery and recovery left her sidelined from WTA action for more than a year.

The 23-year-old hadn't won a main draw match in even longer - since her semifinal appearance at Tokyo International in September 2015 - but she's sealed the perfect return with her 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over Bouchard.

"Honestly, for me it would have been a success to just be out there and not have pain," an emotional Tomljanovic told wtatennis.com after the match. "The expectations were so low - there was that balance of not expecting too much, but at the same time believing that I could produce a good level and eventually win.

"This victory is right up there with my most emotional ones. It's just been so long since I've played and it's been a tough run - I'm just so happy to win today."

Bouchard and Tomljanovic weathered a nervy start, with eight breaks of serve in the opening set alone sending it to a tiebreak.

"At 2-2 in the tiebreaker, that was the first time I even started thinking about winning," Tomljanovic admitted. "Until then, it didn't even cross my mind. But a second later I told myself I can't even think like that. I was playing well until then.

"I was just going for my shots, not thinking about anything else but the next ball."

Bouchard's unforced error count grew in the second set, her big groundstrokes going for the lines but not allowing her the margins she needed. Tomljanovic broke twice more to take the match - and her first victory in almost a year and a half.

The Croatian-born Australian will take on Kirsten Flipkens tomorrow in the next round for a spot in the Acapulco quarterfinals - but Tomljanovic isn't even thinking that far ahead.

"I'm not looking ahead. My next thought is dinner. That's as far as I'm going ahead," she laughed. 

"This tournament for me is already a success."