Alize Cornet upset Simona Halep in the fourth round

Watch: Alize Cornet's emotional speech after reaching her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal in her 63rd attempt at Australian Open 2022

Vedant Chandel
ANALYST

Alize Cornet continued her dream run at the 2022 Australian Open on Monday, scoring an upset win over former finalist Simona Halep in the fourth round. The Frenchwoman triumphed in a three-set battle 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.

Cornet's win was her third consecutive victory over a seeded opponent as she had already taken out Tamara Zidansek and Garbine Muguruza in her last two matches.

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For Cornet, however, the win over Halep was the most emotional as it ended her 17-year-long wait for a Grand Slam quarterfinal. The Frenchwoman has been a regular on the big stage for the longest time and finally managed to break past the fourth-round barrier on her 63rd attempt on Monday.

No dry eyes in the house

This on-court interview between @alizecornet and Jelena Dokic is everything.

#AusOpen#AO2022
11:49 AM 路 Jan 24, 2022

During her on-court interview, an emotional Cornet described the win over Halep as a dream come true, adding that it taught her it was never too late to stop trying to achieve one's goals.

"I mean the battle that we had, with this heat," Cornet said. "After 30 minutes of the gamee, we were both dying on the court and and we kept going for two and a half hours."
"I mean, congrats to Simona because I know she struggled a lot and I admire this player so much," she coninued. "She's such a fighter and she's an example for me and to beat her today to go to my first quarterfinalis is just a dream come true. So I don't know what to say. Never too late to try again."
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Alize Cornet and Simona Halep embrace after their match

Cornet also recalled her 2009 Australian Open fourth-round encounter against Dinara Safina, where she had a couple of match points, describing it as a "painful" loss.

The 34-year-old, however, was quick to express her happiness at still being able to compete at the highest level 13 years down the line.

"I wanted to play against you [speaking to Jelena Docic] so bad I was so disappointed," Cornet said. "I loved your game and I was so excited about playing the quarterfinal against you. I couldn't and it was really painful. And now 13 years later I mean, you're here, I'm still here."

"That's why I keep playing, for this moment where I can share all these emotions with the fans" - Alize Cornet

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Cornet after her fourth-round win over Halep

Alize Cornet also spoke about the tough playing conditions, saying she had to push through the Melbourne heat despite not feeling her best.

The 32-year-old said she wanted to battle for every point. She added that the moment at the end where she can share her emotions with the fans is a big part of why she continues to play tennis.

"I don't know. I think I just stopped thinking after have one, oh my god. I cannot speak English anymore, sorry" Cornet said. "I've just 30 minutes of playing. my vision was, you know, not clear anymore, my hands were shaking"
"But I thought that on the other side of the court she was not you know, feeling much better than me, and of course my my box helped," she continued. "And even you guys, I know you enjoyed the battle today and you know, that's why I keep playing tennis. It's for this moment where I can share all these emotions on the court with you."

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
 
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