Leylah Fernandez crouches to hit a forehand.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

Ajla Tomljanovic stormed back to defeat Leylah Annie Fernandez 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the semifinals of the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham on Friday.

The veteran from Australia shook off a tough opening set before winning 12 of the final 16 games to dispatch the Canadian in 1 hour, and 45 minutes.

The quarter-final clash featured several shifts of momentum.

Read more: Monday Digest – Dabrowski, Andreescu successfully return on grass

Initially, it was the Canadian who came out with precision and consistency. Fernandez broke in the fourth game of the opening set to build a comfortable 3-1 lead, executing a well-timed drop shot winner.

A second break of serve gave her more than enough of a cushion, as the former US Open finalist wrapped up the opening set 6-1, in just 33 minutes.

Fernandez quickly carried over that momentum, opening the second set with her third break of serve.

See also: The wonders of grass-court tennis

However, the former world no. 32 finally turned the tide.

Using her clean ball-striking from the baseline, the 31-year-old quickly recovered the break and held for a 2-1 lead.

At 3-2, she aptly applied pressure to the Fernandez serve once again, breaking and securing a 5-2 edge on the scoreboard.

She closed out the second on her serve, 6-3 in 38 minutes.

In the third set, the veteran continued her strong shot-making and regularly punished the vulnerable second serve of Fernandez.

A poorly timed double fault sent the Canadian down a double break.

Leading 4-1, the Aussie escaped a 0-30 opening from Fernandez, and again held, before comfortably closing out the match on serve.

Tomjlanovic, who missed over three months of action this season due to surgery, is through to her first semifinal of 2024. The Australian is a former two-time quarter-finalist at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, the Canadian achieved her best career result on the grass courts, making the quarter-finals.

Fernandez is scheduled to compete at the Eastbourne International next week, before heading to the All England Club.