On Her 63rd Attempt Alize Cornet Finally Reaches A Major Quarter-Final At The Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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On Her 63rd Attempt Alize Cornet Finally Reaches A Major Quarter-Final At The Australian Open

13 years after she narrowingly missed out on a spot in the last eight, Cornet has finally broken new territory at Melbourne Park.



Image via https://twitter.com/WTA/

They say good things come to those who wait and this was the case for Alize Cornet at the Australian Open on Monday.

The French 32-year-old veteran made her Melbourne Park debut 16 years ago during a time when Lindsay Davenport was ranked No.1 in the world. Over the coming years Cornet would become a regular fixture in Grand Slam tennis but never made a significant breakthrough despite being ranked as high as 11th in the world over a decade ago. Nevertheless, she didn’t gave up and now she is experiencing her best-ever run at a major event.

In her 63rd Grand Slam main draw, Cornet has sealed a place in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open after ousting Simona Halep 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, in a marathon encounter that lasted two-and-a-half hours. The victory was by no means a straightforward encounter for the world No.61 who dropped her serve six times during the match. However, it would be a single break in her favor during the decider which helped her score what was a highly emotional win.

We were both fighters on the court out there, and really giving everything we had, leaving it all on the court,” said Cornet.
“It was such a drama because I was one set, one break up and I don’t know how many games I lost in a row. I finally came back in the third.’
“I was so tired I couldn’t think anymore, which was a good thing I think at the end because it just made me keep playing, keep trying and at the end I made my first quarterfinals.”

The breakthrough has been long overdue for Cornet, who was on the verge of booking her place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 13 years ago in 2009. On that occasion she had two match points against third seed Dinara Safina but failed to convert and ended up losing. If she had won, she would have played Jelena Dokic, who coincidentally interviewed Cornet following her win over Halep.

“I wanted to play against you so bad! I was so disappointed,” she said to Dokic during what was a heart-warming interview.
“I loved your game and I was so excited about playing a quarter-final against you and I couldn’t and it was really painful.”

Some may wonder why it has taken Cornet so long to achieve one of her career goals. She has scored a total of 23 wins over top 10 players with the most recent of those being against Garbine Muguruza last week. She is contesting her 60th consecutive Grand Slam main draw which is the third longest streak in the history of women’s tennis.

“After 16 years on the tour, I never give up. Today I realized this goal that was very important to me for a while,” she said.
“I don’t know what happened in the past, and really, honestly, right now I don’t care.”

Should Cornet play the three remaining Grand Slams this season she would overtake Ai Sugiyama’s record of 62 straight appearances. In a recent interview with The New York Times she hinted that this could be the perfect way for her to end her career. She also told reporters that this season is ‘probably‘ her last.

However, given her win over Halep in Melbourne could there be a change of heart over the coming months?

“I told myself that this could be my last season. I don’t know if it’s helping (my game), I don’t know if it’s just the work that is paying out. When I’m on the court I feel good. I feel good outside the court and I feel good on the court,” she stated.

Becoming the first Frenchwoman to reach an Australian Open quarter-final in more than a decade, Cornet will next play Danielle Collins.

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