Alize Cornet defied an 0-5 record in fourth-round matches at Grand Slams on Monday, battling past Simona Halep in a two-hour, 33-minute thriller, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, to reach the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
And the achievement was historic: Cornet has smashed the Open Era record for most Grand Slams played before reaching a first Grand Slam quarterfinal, the 2022 Australian Open being her 63rd.
Before Cornet, the women’s record for most majors played before reaching a first quarterfinal belonged to Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn, who did it in her 45th at Wimbledon in 2008.
Cornet even beat the men’s record, which belonged to her countryman, Fabrice Santoro—Santoro, “the Magician”, reached the quarterfinals of the 2006 Australian Open in his 54th major played.
“After 16 years on the tour, I never give up,” Cornet said afterwards.
“Today I realized this goal that was very important to me for a while. After beating a few big names, Muguruza, today Halep, they are all players that I admire a lot. I don’t know what happened in the past, and really, honestly, right now I don’t care.”
Cornet can break another longevity record this year—if she plays Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open, they’ll be the 61st, 62nd and 63rd consecutive majors she’s played, which would break the women’s record for most consecutive majors played in the Open Era (Ai Sugiyama, 62).