Tomljanovic puts return to court on hold

Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic hasn't played since last year's Australian Open.
Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic hasn't played since last year's Australian Open. DAVID CROSLING

TENNIS: Australian hope Ajla Tomljanovic's return to the court has stalled with the 23-year-old withdrawing from the Kooyong Classic.

Tomljanovic - the girlfriend of Australian young gun Nick Kyrgios - hasn't played since last year's Australian Open after having shoulder surgery but it had been hoped she would make her return on home soil.

But despite every effort she is not ready for the January 13 event.

"I am disappointed to not be able to participate in the upcoming Kooyong Classic,” she said.

"I've been doing everything I can to prepare for it, but I just need more time to be fully ready to play after being away from the tour for a while. I look forward to playing next year in front of the wonderful Australian fans.”

The Kooyong Classic is set to hold a women's event for the first time with one spot now available to join Sabine Lisicki and Sorana Cirstea in the three-woman field.

One position also remains available in the men's event, which is headlined by Aussie Bernard Tomic.

Tournament director Peter Johnston said processes were underway to install a replacement for Tomljanovic.

"We feel sorry for Ajla as she has been working so hard to get herself ready for Kooyong and Australia,” he said.

"It is frustrating for her and we wish her well.”

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