FifthAbout a week ago, Alizee told Cornet about the near end of her career. The French lady said she’s not quite sure yet, but after 17 years on the tour, there’s a lot to be said for that. “It’s not an easy task. You’re basically on the road for 10 months out of 12 a year, and you never see your family, and it’s really hard to live a love life. And not getting rewarded for your work is often very painful. Sometimes, on the For example, you lose a match point, and you go back to your hotel room and think: What’s all this about?
Everyone needs a bonus now and then to stay motivated, but what about a sport where most people lose at least as much as they win? And where, in principle, every week of the tournament ends with a defeat and the accompanying question: am I really good enough? Alizee Cornet has won six titles in 17 years of her career, roughly one every three years.
The passion and the capacity to suffer must be so strong that we do not drown in the raging sea of disappointment. She played 63 times during her career Grand Slam Championship, 60 of them in a row, but she never made it past the round of 16, despite being in the top 20 in the world for many years. But in the end, it can be said that the love for tennis has always been stronger, which is why she still exists.
The 32-year-old French knows she has a reputation for being a drama queen, but she doesn’t mind. “This is what I am now,” she says. “I can’t hide my true nature.” It allows itself a kind of openness not found everywhere. It was the first in the case of the Chinese colleague Bing Shuai She reacted because she thought she should be taken care of, not at some point, but right away. If she retires from tennis at the end of the year, the Women’s Tour will miss a prominent player, but she may reconsider the intention now.
Because on a hot Monday in Melbourne, something she herself hadn’t expected happened. For the first time in her career, Cornet won a fourth-round match at a Grand Slam tournament by winning the Toughest Conditions against her. Simona Halep (6:4, 3:6, 6:4).
The photo at the end spoke volumes: Halep propped herself up against the net as she could barely stand, Cornet knelt on the baseline, overwhelmed with emotion. It took her a long time to calm down and be able to think clearly. Perhaps the thought of ending her career had removed a certain burden from her, she said, and perhaps that was why she had now achieved what she had tried in vain all these years.
“It’s not too late, you have to keep trying,” she said in an on-court interview. But now that she’s finally in the quarter-finals, and for the first time she also thinks she’s going to the end there can be. Perhaps it is this very thought that makes the difference? “In Fira,” as the French say. We’ll see.
In Wednesday’s quarter-finals, she will meet at least one player as passionate as she is, American Danielle Collins. “She’s like a lioness,” says Alizee Cornet. “I’m already severe, but it’s at a higher level.”
They both look forward to this game because they know there will only be one direction, straight and forward. She played Danielle Collins in the semi-finals in Melbourne three years ago, so she has a bit more experience than the French. But this will not matter, because Alizee smells the morning air. Really hot air type in the morning as it is in Melbourne these days.
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