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.

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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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Roberto Bautista Agut wins his milestone 400th match on the ATP Tour

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Roberto Bautista Agut came back from one set down to beat Australian Open doubles finalist Andrea Vavassori 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 1 minute at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. 

Vavassori earned an early break in the first game. The Italian player earned three break points in the seventh game, but Bautista Agut saved them. The Spanish player broke straight back in the eighth game. Vavassori broke again in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and saved two break points before closing out the first set 6-4 on his second set point. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Vavassori earned a break point in the fifth game, but he did not convert it. Bautista Agut broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face any break points to win the second set 6-3. 

Bautista Agut broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1. 

Bautista Agut reached the 400th milestone win on the ATP Tour.  The Spanish player has become the 13th active player with at least 400 ATP Tour wins. He achieved 20 wins against members of the top 10, ten wins against top 5 players and four against world number 1s. Bautista Agut is one of the nine players, who have beaten Novak Djokovic as World number 1 more than twice. 

“For me it’s just a number. The important thing is that I have done great work over these years, that I have a very consistent career, a career that I can feel proud of “, said Bautista Agut. 

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Martina Trevisan beats Naomi Osaka to reach the second round in Rouen

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Martina Trevisan upset former world number 1 Naomi Osaka 6-4 6-2 in the opening round of the Open Capfinances Rouen Metropole. 

Osaka has played her first clay-court match since Roland Garros 2022, where she lost to Amanda Anisimova. The Japanese player has not won a match on clay since beating Anastasia Potapova in the first round of the Madrid Mutua Open in 2022. She helped Japan beat Kazakhstan in the Billie Jean King Cup. 

Trevisan reached the quarter final in 2020 and the semifinal in 2022 at Roland Garros. The former world number 18 won her only title in Rabat in 2022. She reached the quarter finals of the Zaragoza ITF 100 tournament. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games. Osaka earned two break points at 3-2 and three more chances at 4-3, but she was not able to convert them. Trevisan broke serve in the ninth game following a series of forehand errors. 

Trevisan broke twice in the third and seventh games and served out the win on her first match point. 

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva beat Elina Avanesyan 7-5 6-4 in 1 hour and 41 minutes to reach her second quarter final of 2024. 

Andreeva went up a break in the seventh game, but Avanesyan pulled back on serve to draw level to 4-4. Andreeva broke for the second time in the 11th game to win the second set 7-5. Andreeva broke in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Avanesyan converted her third break-back point in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Andreeva broke serve at love in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Avanesyan broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Andreeva broke for the third time in the ninth game and served out the win on her second match point after saving two break points. 

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Linda Noskova cruises past Jelena Ostapenko in Stuttgart to clinch her third top 10 win

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Linda Noskova cruised past number 8 seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 6-1 on her debut at this tournament in just 68 minutes to reach the second round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Noskova has claimed her third top 10 win this year. She beat Iga Swiatek in the third round of the Australian Open en route to her first Grand Slam quarter final and Maria Sakkari in Doha. 

Noskova raced out to a 5-1 lead with two breaks of serve in the first and third games. Ostapenko pulled one break back in the eighth game for 3-5. Noskova earned three set points in the ninth game with a return winner and converted her first chance to clinch the first set 6-3. 

Noskova broke twice in the second and fourth games to cruise through the second set 6-1. 

Noskova converted all her five break points. 

Marketa Vondrousova beat Donna Vekic 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 26 minutes to reach the second round. The reigning Wimbledon champion converted four of her eight break points. 

Vondrousova went down 2-4 down in the first round, but she came back by winning four games to clinch the first set 6-4. Vondrousova broke in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. The Czech player earned three game points to lead 4-1, but Vekic pulled back on serve at 3-2 with a passing winner. Vondrousova earned another break to take a 5-3 lead after a drop-shot misfire by Vekic and served out the win with two consecutive aces. Vondrousova now leads 2-1 in her head-to-head matches against Vekic. 

Elise Mertens overcame Tatjana Maria 6-1 4-6 6-0 to set up the first clash of her career against world number 1 Iga Swiatek. 

“At the age of 22, it’s unbelievable what Swiatek has already achieved. Definitely in the future, she will achieve a lot more. She is a bit like an all-court, all-around player, so you don’t really find a lot of weaknesses. That’s why she is world number 1”, said Mertens. 

This year’s Abu Dhabi champion Jasmine Paolini cruised past her doubles partner Sara Errani 6-1 6-0 with three breaks of serve in each set. 

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