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Alizé Cornet teases third book as she quells retirement talk at Roland Garros
The former world No. 11 is taking her career one week at a time ahead of what is set to be her 18th appearance at her home major tournament.
Published May 26, 2023
FLASHBACK: Cornet shocked Simona Halep to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2022 Australian Open.
PARIS—Alizé Cornet is among the tennis tour’s most prolific active players—owning the Open Era record for most consecutive Grand Slam appearances—and appears to be employing a similar strategy on her bourgeoning second career as a published author.
“I’m working on my next book,” she announced at her 2023 Roland Garros Media Day press conference. “The next novel will be published next year. It's not because I don't talk about it, that I don't work on it. And my first novel was published as a public book recently, as well.”
This soon-to-be-published work will bring Cornet’s total bibliography to three, all in the last three years. Following an autobiographical memoir published in two languages, Cornet’s first novel, La Valse des Jours, dropped last spring.
“The first book worked well. I had a lot of positive feedback. So, this year, more than last year, I consider to have two hats, two careers. I like it. I have managed to strike the right balance between both careers.
“Sometimes last year it would be confusing. I would spend too much time on writing, and that would actually have an impact on my tennis. This year I found the right work balance.”
Cornet plans to keep the balance going indefinitely after pondering whether to make her 18th Roland Garros her last after playing her record-breaking 64th straight major at the 2022 US Open.
“I'm really trying to take it week by week, actually, to be honest,” she explained, having regretted putting the retirement conversation out in the universe. “I play when I want to play, when I'm motivated. I'm not trying to push myself like I did for 15 years. I'm really trying to go on the tournament when I feel like I have something to give. That's why I withdrew from Miami this year because I had nothing left in my brain, in my belly to play. So, I have no idea how I'm gonna feel by the end of the year, and even less by next year.
“Let's try to enjoy this Roland Garros as if it was the last. We never know what the future holds.”
Still, the former world No. 11, who reached a long-awaited maiden major quarterfinal at the 2022 Australian Open, has some idea of what she wants from the future. Asked about her plans by Mary Carillo, Cornet promised not to stray too far from the tennis world after retirement.
“I think I want to stick around,” she said. “First of all, because I love the sport, and I have been around for so long, but I don't think I can just walk away and forget about tennis.
“Also, because I think I have things to say and things to give also to other players. You know, I have always had this kind of dream that I wanted to be a Billie Jean King Cup captain. It's still something that I'm thinking of. I think I would be good at it.
“Don't worry,” she finished. “You'll see me again even when I stop playing!”
Cornet’s first match comes against Italian nemesis Camila Giorgi, who has won her last five matches against the Frenchwoman.