Alize Cornet’s giant-killing ways have continued with an umpire blow up followed by one of the best post-match interviews of the tournament.
French journeywoman Alize Cornet has made the fourth round of the Australian Open for the second time in her career, 13 years after the first.
Just don’t call her a veteran.
The 32-year-old Frenchwoman burst onto the grand slam scene in 2005 when she played in her first French Open and has made the fourth round at every grand slam since but no further.
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But 17-years into her grand slam career, Cornet is on fire, having knocked out third seed Garbine Muguruza and now 29th seed Tamara Zidansek, after a comeback 4-6 6-4 6-2 win on Saturday.
While the tempers were running hot during the match as she had a run in with the umpire during the game, Cornet gave one of the best post-match interviews of the tournament after she was bathing in the glory of her victory.
Asked if today’s game was all about survival, particularly in the 34 degree temperature in Melbourne, Cornet laughed: “Mainly”.
“I didn’t miss this Australian heat, it’s so brutal,” she said. “God, playing midday like this, it’s all about surviving but I just can’t believe I won this match. I was 6-4 4-1 down and I couldn’t find a solution and Tamara was playing great tennis and I wasn’t playing my best. I just kept going and kept fighting and I put all the resilience I could into this match. It’s a magic win for me, and I’m so happy. It’s been 13 years since my first fourth round and I’m back in the fourth round in Australia like oh my god.”
In 2009 as a teenager, Cornet stunned by making the fourth round, her best result before this year.
Asked about achieving the result again as a “veteran” of the sport and what had she learned between her two Australia Open runs, Cornet said: “I hate this word but yes I am.”
“You have to keep working, keep believing in your dreams, keep loving the game. I was such a kid the first time I was here. I’ve just kept going all these years, working really hard every day and it’s really special to be back. I enjoy so much my time on court, I think that’s why I put everything I have, I put my whole heart and today it paid off.”
Cornet was also asked about the crowd and how they got behind her.
“I feel the love of this crowd and it’s so special, it’s pushing me all the time,” she said. “Eve though I’m not an Aussie and I’m French and I don’t even know if you guys like French people but you give me so much love and that’s what really pushed me through today so thank you guys for being here and hopefully you’ll be there in the next round.”
On top of all that, they jumped in late as today is her birthday and the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” as she was about to leave the court.
The interview quickly made it around the tennis world with some brilliant talking points.
It was far from all her own way as Zidansek led by a set and 4-1 in the second and appeared heading for the fourth round herself.
The tension was telling on Cornet as she raged at the umpire after copping a time violation at 4-all in the second set as the Frenchwoman tried to adjust to the angle of the sun.
Cornet didn’t agree, saying she was easily in position quick enough to beat the 25-second shot clock. “This is insane,” she said, before asking: “What is your problem with me?”
Cornet then marched from the baseline to the chair and gave the umpire a piece of her mind.
“Don’t say anything to me, just listen,” she said as part of her rant.
But while the tension of the comeback appeared to be getting the best of Cornet, she bounced back to claim the set and go on to romp home in the match.
Cornet will look to continue her giant-killing ways against 14th seed Simona Halep in the next round.