Tomljanovic saves Aussie women's challenge

Darren WaltonAAP
Ajla Tomljanovic has spared Australian women's blushes with her second-day win at Wimbledon.
Camera IconAjla Tomljanovic has spared Australian women's blushes with her second-day win at Wimbledon. Credit: AP

Thriving under the pressure, Ajla Tomljanovic has saved Australia from a women's wipe-out with an impressive first-round Wimbledon victory.

A quarter-finalist last year, Tomljanovic lived up to her status as the new Aussie No.1 with a 6-2 6-3 upset win over 18th seed Jil Teichmann.

Teichmann was fresh off a breakout run to the last 16 at Roland Garros but Tomljanovic swept past the Swiss southpaw in 77 minutes to book a date on Thursday with American qualifier Catherine Harrison.

"I knew she's had an incredible year so far and that kind of confidence, you can't buy it," Tomljanovic said.

"It's just from the whole year, you can feel it. It always comes out in tight moments.

"So I knew that if I wanted to win today, I really had to kind of step up my game and just play the grass court tennis that I know I can."

Tomljanovic's triumph came as wildcard Daria Saville and qualifiers Zoe Hives, Astra Sharma and Jaimiee Fourlis all bombed out.

Saville succumbed to cramps in a 7-5 3-6 7-5 first-round loss to Viktoriya Tomova.

The 29-year-old had successfully pleaded with All England Club officials to hand her the last of seven wildcards into the women's main draw following a form resurgence in 2022 after finally overcoming a chronic foot injury.

Alas, Saville was unable to clear the first hurdle.

She did put up a stand, though, refusing to throw in the towel after jarring her right knee in the sixth game of the deciding set and falling 5-2 behind.

But after clawing back to 5-5, Saville again dropped serve to stay in the set - as she did in the first set - to hand Tomova victory.

Hives' inspired Wimbledon campaign ended earlier on Tuesday with a 6-1 6-4 defeat to fifth seed Maria Sakkari.

On the comeback trail following a lengthy battle with debilitating Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, Hives earned her way into the main draw with three qualifying wins at Roehampton.

But Sakkari proved a bridge too far.

Ranked No.571 in the world after being unable to play for more than two years while fighting chronic fatigue, Hives' consolation is a career pay day of Stg 50,000 ($A88,000).

"It'll make a lot of difference to me," said the Ballarat battler.

"The Aussie Open money I earned a few years ago is still helping me. I can afford to get people to help me with other things, more time with my coach.

"I always promised myself if I got to main draw again I'd get myself a new car.

"But that now feels like an extravagance so I don't know if it's going to happen.

"But I'd like to! My old car goes up the hill and I'm going 'come on! ...

"I haven't decided yet - I'll wait until I get home."

Fourlis bowed out with a 6-2 7-5 loss to Kirsten Flipkens.

Sharma's appearance in the main draw was also short-lived, with the West Australian losing her rain-delayed first-round match with Tatjana Maria 4-6 6-3 6-4.

The match was suspended under fading light at one set apiece on Monday night before the German nabbed the deciding set on Tuesday.

The departures of Saville, Hives and Sharma followed Inglis's exit on Monday with a 5-7 6-3 6-4 loss to Dalma Galfi.

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