Alize Cornet is a French tennis player who has been a steady presence in the WTA top 20 this decade, making full use of her athleticism and foot speed to regularly defeat bigger opponents.
Cornet made headlines in 2014 for defeating Serena Williams as many as three times in the same season, becoming the first player since Justine Henin in 2007 to do so. But there have been several other highlights in the Frenchwoman's career, in which she has won 6 titles.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: 4th Round (2009)
French Open: 4th Round (2015, 2017)
Wimbledon: 4th Round (2014)
US Open: 3rd Round (2007, 2008, 2013, 2014)
Highest Ranking: No. 11
Style of play
Cornet is a steady baseliner who likes to use her opponents' pace against them. In that sense she is very much a counterpuncher, and it is no surprise that she is most comfortable on clay.
Cornet often plays from behind the baseline in order to give her enough time to set up for her topspin-heavy shots. She steps into the court when she gets a short ball, but rarely ventures to the net.
Cornet is a return-oriented player who relies on breaking her opponent's serve as often as she gets broken herself.
Strengths and weaknesses
Cornet is quick around the court, which makes her defense very strong. She also has excellent touch and timing, regularly redirecting her opponents' big shots and using their pace against them.
Cornet has very solid groundstrokes off both wings, but it is her backhand that is the bigger weapon. She can hit it effortlessly with topspin or slice, and crosscourt or down the line, to wrong-foot the player at the other side of the net.
The Frenchwoman has a lethal return, and has been known to get even seemingly impossible serves back in play. That's one of the reasons why she can break her opponents' serve so often.
Cornet's serve is her biggest liability, as it lacks the pop or consistency to seriously trouble her opponents. She also struggles to put away short balls; her forehand lacks the flat power that is so necessary to outhit players in today's defense-based game.
Cornet was born in Nice, France, and both her parents - Francis and Patricia - encouraged her and her brother to take up athletic pursuits from a young age.
Her brother Sebastien took up tennis first, and Alize soon followed, when she was four. She went on to become much more successful than her brother in youth tournaments, and eventually Sebastien became her agent.
Cornet had a good junior career, winning the French Open girls' title in 2007. She soon became a major threat on clay after turning pro, reaching the Italian Open final in 2008 at the age of just 18. She went on to win the Budapest event, again on clay, that same year.
Cornet has won 6 titles in her career so far, 4 of which have come on clay. But in 2014, when pitted against the great Serena Williams, she achieved success on all surfaces. She first defeated her on hardcourt at the Dubai event, then on grass at Wimbledon, and then once more on hardcourt at Wuhan.
That year, when she became Williams' nemesis, is widely considered to be the highlight of Cornet's career. However, the Frenchwoman has shown that she is capable of a lot more than just recording a few wins over an all-time great, and is poised to continue winning titles in the next few years.
Social media presence:
Alize Cornet Instagram: @alizecornet
Alize Cornet Twitter: @alizecornet