Alize Cornet Praises 'Amazing' Birthday Victory After Reaching Last 16 In Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Alize Cornet Praises ‘Amazing’ Birthday Victory After Reaching Last 16 In Melbourne

Alize Cornet is relishing life as she secured a place in the last 16 of the Australian Open on her birthday.

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Alize Cornet (@bet237cm - Twitter)

Alize Cornet reflects on an ‘amazing’ achievement at the Australian Open as she celebrated her birthday with a 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Tamara Zidansek to reach the last 16 in Melbourne.

After beating world number three Garbine Muguruza in the last round, the Frenchwoman keeps making strides as she reached the fourth round of the Australian Open with a three set win over the 29th seed.

In what is possibly her last season on tour, Cornet has started the season well and now looks forward to another last 16 meeting at a grand slam.

Speaking at her press conference Cornet admitted that winning now still feels the same than when she first started on the tour, “It feels the same,” Cornet said.

“I mean, maybe I have a little more distance with it because I’ve played so many years and I’ve faced so many different situations. But it feels very sweet. It still feels amazing.

“I think that’s why we all keep playing and keep pushing ourselves because we’re so addicted to these feelings, this joy right after the match point then you can share it with your box, then with your family. It’s really amazing.

“To start the year this way definitely wants to make me play some more tennis. It’s definitely a very, very special victory being back in the second week 13 years after my first second week at the Australian Open. It’s quite special. The day of my birthday, I mean, what else can I ask for?”

Cornet will be hoping to keep the good results coming as she looks to continue a dream run in what could be her last Australian Open of her career.

Speaking of the past, Cornet was also asked to compare the Alize Cornet of 2009 to now and the world number 61 said there aren’t too many differences, “In a way she’s the same. I’m exactly the same,” Cornet told journalists.

“I love the game as much as I used to. I’m passionate the same way. I’m still fighting like with all my heart. I just have more experience. Maybe I know how to handle a little bit better my emotions sometimes. Not all the time, would be too easy.

“Sometimes I think all these years spent on the tour teach me that there is a moment where you can scream or get angry with yourself, and sometimes there’s not. Now I can identify these moments a little bit better. I guess that would make the main difference between myself now and the young myself.”

Cornet’s game and mindset has matured in some ways as her more experienced game looks to prevail in a stress-free season.

Next for Cornet will be two-time grand slam champion Simona Halep for a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

Halep is a player Cornet has a lot of admiration for, “Simona, I’ve seen her play in Melbourne when she won the tournament. You can see. I followed
her for many years,”
Cornet said.

“She’s a player that I really admire, that I also identify myself a little bit to. She has this will and she’s such a fighter, the way she plays with variation
and stuff. What I saw last year in her game has definitely changed I think these past months.

“I think now she’s back on track for real. I can see she is ambitious in her eyes. I would not be surprised if she goes very far in the tournament.”

Should Cornet defeat Halep on Monday then the Frenchwoman would be into the first grand slam quarter-final of her career.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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