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New Aussie Ajla's 'home' tennis wildcard

Tennis Australia keeps doing its best to ensure Croatian-born Ajla Tomljanovic starts life in Queensland with a bang by granting her main-draw entry to the Brisbane International.
Tomljanovic, expected to gain Australian citizenship in coming months, will line up in the year-opening tournament after gaining a wildcard on Tuesday along with comeback kid Jarmila Gajdosova.
Ranked No.62 in the world, the 21-year-old makes her Brisbane debut just months after moving to the city at the advice of coach Dave Taylor.
Tomljanovic decided six months ago to represent Australia after believing Tennis Australia's support was more likely to make her dream come true than playing out of Croatia or Florida, where she moved to at age 12.
But she'll be listed as Croatian by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) until her citizenship comes through in 2015, even though the ITF recognised her as Australian at this year's US Open.
Nonetheless, the former world No.4 junior is expecting strong home support when the tournament, featuring eight of the world's top-20 women, starts on January 4.
"I'm excited to have been awarded a wildcard into Brisbane International and I'm very happy to have the opportunity to play in front of my home crowd in Brisbane for the first time," she said in a statement.
"It's always extra exciting to play the first tournament of the year and I am very eager to get 2015 off to a strong start.
"Brisbane is a fantastic event and the competition is always tough, but I am looking forward to the challenge."
With world No.23 Sam Stosur also starting her 2015 in Brisbane, Tomljanovic and Melbourne-based Gajdosova ensure three local women in a main draw that also features Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Ana Ivanovic.
It will be Gajdosova's fourth tilt at the Evonne Goolagong Trophy, and comes following her efforts to make it back to 71st in the world after dropping to 334.
Since June, she has built a 29-9 win-loss record on tour, including wins at ITF events in Nottingham and Vancouver, and last month was nominated for the WTA's comeback player of the year.
"I'm thrilled to have been awarded a wildcard into Brisbane International and it's a great reward for my hard work in 2014," she said.

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