Ajla Tomljanovic has set a quarter-final showdown with former champion Karolina Pliskova, rousing a packed Show Court 1 crowd to take down Johanna Konta on Wednesday night.
The 6-2 7-6(2) victory means Tomljanovic is the last Australian standing in the women’s draw and avenges a three-set defeat at the same stage from last year’s event.
The 25-year-old was trouncing the Brit when she raced to a set and a 4-0 lead before tightening up with the finish line in sight.
Tomljanovic, who on her first match point at 5-4 hit a forehand inches long, forced the tie-break with a cross-court forehand winner to finish a 22-shot rally before maintaining the momentum to close out the match.
“I’m happy because from last year I feel like I was also in a good position to win last year, and definitely got in one today,” he said.
“She’s such a good player that you kind of expect her not to give it to you and almost raise her level. I did back off a little bit at 4-0, but it’s only natural.
“But I’m pretty proud of the way I fought back and still believed that I can win.”
On goes Ajla! 🇦🇺
— #BrisbaneTennis (@BrisbaneTennis) January 2, 2019
The 25-year-old has split two prior meetings with former world No. Pliskova, however they haven’t played in 3.5 years.
Tomljanovic was confident the improvements she had made mentally in the past year and physically in the off-season had her in a good position to pull off another upset.
“It’s tricky, because I always believe I can win, but at the same time I’m aware that I’m an underdog, you know?” she said.
“But there’s always a part of me that expects to win still and like pull off an upset. But I try to go into every match as an underdog even if I’m not one.
“So that kind of helps my mentality. But I think I will go swing freely just because I know if I don’t I’m going to lose because she’s such a great player.”