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 .
- Alizé Cornet triumphed 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
- The Frenchwoman will meet Danielle Collins in the quarter-finals
- Collins is the third American to reach the women’s quarterfinals
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.
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.
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.