Tricolor tennis woke up with wonderful news on Monday, January 24. Alizé Cornet, 32, qualified for her first career Grand Slam quarter-final. The Frenchwoman took out former world number one Simona Halep to join Danielle Collins in the next round.
The crazy day of Alizé Cornet
“Going further is not a dream, it’s just an ambition.” Alizé Cornet had the fangs before entering the court against Simona Halep. In the sweltering heat of Melbourne, the 61st player in the world achieved a real feat by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in her Grand Slam career, during her 63rd Major. “It’s never too late“, she explained.
Cornet was imperial during the first part of the match, winning the first set, but missed the mark in the second when she missed two break points to lead 4-1. From then on, Halep won six straight games, pushing Cornet into the third set. The French ended up regaining the upper hand over the Romanian. After two missed match points at 5-3, the Niçoise ended up concluding the game on her serve, after 2h35 of play (6-4, 3-6, 6-4).
“I don’t realize at all right now, reacted Cornet to the microphone of Eurosport. I convinced myself that I was going to do it and I did it, it’s magic! I have no words, I’ve been waiting for this for 13 years.” Alizé Cornet will face Danielle Collins in the quarter-finals.
Premiere night for Iga Swiatek
Tears in her eyes, Iga Swiatek let the emotion overwhelm her after her success in the round of 16 against Sorana Cirstea. After three sets of a badly embarked meeting for her, the Pole joined the quarter-finals of the Australian Open for the first time in her young career (20 years). It was only at Roland-Garros (victory in 2020, quarter-finals in 2021) that Swiatek had passed the round of 16 in the Grand Slam. She adds Melbourne to her chart.
Welcome to the final eight, @iga_swiatek
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 24, 2022
To get rid of the Romanian, the 9th player in the world had to fight. After losing the first set, she woke up to pocket the next two. She finally won in 2h30: 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. She will face Kaia Kanepi or Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals.
Danielle Collins, third American in the quarterfinals
Along with Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys, Danielle Collins is the third American to make the quarter-finals in Melbourne this year. The 30th in the world eliminated the Belgian Elise Mertens (seeded n°19) in three sets and 2h53 of play (4-6, 6-4, 6-4).
She will play her second quarter at the Australian Open after that in 2019 (she then lost in the semi-finals) and her third in Grand Slam after Roland-Garros 2020. “It was very hard physically today, I had ups and downs”, said Collins who, before reaching the round of 16, had already spent five hours on the court in three games, including 2:35 on Saturday in the third round to beat Denmark’s Clara Tauson (39th). She will inevitably arrive physically marked against Alizé Cornet, in the quarter-finals, on Wednesday.