Alizé Cornet defeats Simona Halep in straight sets to reach Australian Open quarter-finals

France’s Alizé Cornet reached the quarter-final stage at a major for the first time in 63 attempts after battling sweltering heat to beat former Australian Open finalist Simona Halep in three sets .

With temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius, both players battled the heat on Rod Laver Arena, but it was Cornet who prevailed, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6- 4 in 2 hours and 33 minutes.

The 32-year-old will face Danielle Collins for a place in the semi-finals.

Cornet buried his face in a towel and burst into tears after converting his third match point.

“It was a battle with Simona today in this heat,” Cornet, 61st, said during his on-court interview.

“After 30 minutes of play, we were both dying on the pitch. We went on for two and a half hours with all our hearts.

“Congratulations to Simona because I know she has struggled a lot and I admire this player so much. She is such a fighter and an example for me. Beating her today to go to my first quarter-final is a dream come true.

Former world number one Halep missed Wimbledon and the French Open in an injury-plagued 2021 but looked in fine form at the start of the season as she picked up nine straight wins, including a title in Melbourne in the perspective of the Australian. Open.

Halep was affected by the heat on Rod Laver Arena.(Getty Images: Darrian Traynor)

The Romanian had conceded just 12 games en route to the fourth round, but the two-time winner looked exhausted as the game wore on, leaning on her racquet between the points to catch her breath.

Earlier on Rod Laver Arena, Collins won a battle of attrition to overhaul 19th seed Elise Mertens 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and book her second Open quarterfinal appearance. Australia.

In a grueling clash of former semi-finalists lasting 2 hours and 51 minutes, the American 27th seed snatched victory with a barrage of powerful strikes as Mertens served to stay in the game.

Belgium’s Mertens saved two match points – the second with a bold second serve – but then obediently surrendered on the third with a double fault.

An American tennis player screams as she celebrates winning a point.
Danielle Collins needed almost three hours on the court to overtake Elise Mertens.(Getty Images: Clive Brunskill)

Collins is the third American to reach the quarter-finals this year, with Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys also advancing to the last eight.

“I think I have ups and downs during games, mentally and physically,” Collins said during his on-court interview.

“Elise really made me work to the maximum. She’s one of the best forward-thinkers on the circuit. So sometimes I had to win the points five, six, seven times.

“Some of the points were unbelievable. Some of the balls she recovered and shots I thought were winners, sometimes they weren’t.

“So I had to try to put pressure on her and find some big shots because that’s all you can do against someone who is such a good anticipator.”

Collins made the Australian Open semi-finals in 2019. She was also a French Open quarter-finalist in 2020.

Reuters/ABC

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