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Cornet gets off to dream start in New York
Published Aug 24, 2020
The six-month hiatus apparently hasn't affected Alize Cornet too much as she got off to a roaring start at the Western & Southern Open in New York with an upset of No. 2 seed Sofia Kenin
On Sunday, Cornet raced off to a 5-0 lead in the first set but she would encounter some turbulence in the second set.
"I’m always fighting, so that’s nothing new, but tonight was tough because I was 6-1, 5-2 up with two match points," said Cornet. "Somehow I let it go a little bit, and I got really tight, so I never thought I could win the set the way I did."
The Frenchwoman would hold two match points at, 6-1, 5-2, but a combination of nerves and Kenin's habit of fighting at all costs made it difficult to close out the match. However, on her fourth match point which would come much later in the set tiebreaker, Cornet would finish the job and post a 6-1, 7-6 (7) score.
"What I'm really proud of is my resilience. I took it to the tiebreak and finally won the match and mentally it was not easy. So, I'm proud of this but at 6-5 down in the second set, I was like no, no that cannot happen. Why am I playing tennis, this is a crazy sport," Cornet said.
“It was a really tight second set, and in the tiebreak, oh my God, I was just praying for the best on every single shot,” she added.
Cornet's second-round win marks her first victory over a Top-5 player in two years, but she's always had the capability of not just sparring with the best but coming out on top. Earlier this year she defeated Petra Martic in Auckland and then former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in St. Petersburg.
"I took my chances and I think I really played solid tennis today and I believed in myself," Cornet said. "I think that's what shows that I'm fresh mentally is that I believe more in myself. I knew that I could win this match, I had no doubt about it. And it happened, so it's a good thing. Now I want to go even further, I don't want to put myself some limits, I just want to play good tennis."
The upset should give Cornet a boost of confidence not only in the warm-up event but also at next week's US Open. She will next face the winner between Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Garcia. Cornet trails behind both in their respective head-to-head clashes.