Alize Cornet thrilled to be back for Dubai test

Alize Cornet thrilled to be back for Dubai test

Her Dubai debut came close to matching that of Andy Murray, who sensationally upset defending champion Roger Federer in the opening round in 2008, as she claimed a stunning victory over world number one Serena Williams in the semi-finals.



Alize Cornet thrilled the crowd a year ago as she battled her way to the final in Dubai. — Supplied photo

Alize Cornet thrilled the crowd a year ago as she battled her way to the final in Dubai. — Supplied photo

Dubai: Alize Cornet thrilled the crowd a year ago as she battled her way to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and she in turn is thrilled to return to the scene of one of her greatest career triumphs.

Her Dubai debut came close to matching that of Andy Murray, who sensationally upset defending champion Roger Federer in the opening round in 2008, as she claimed a stunning victory over world number one Serena Williams in the semi-finals.

Charming and impressing everyone in equal measure, Cornet swept through to the final without giving up a set, taking full advantage of world number nine Simona Halep’s first round retirement against her and then sweeping past three more top 20 opponents as she beat Kirsten Flipkens, Carla Suarez Navarro and then Serena Williams.

Incredibly, Cornet had only received a place in the main draw when Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew with injury, but she played with confidence and conviction throughout the week, and held her nerve well as Williams fought off three match points before surrendering on the fourth.

“I was so excited about this match, and now that I beat Serena it’s a dream come true,” said Cornet after her famous victory. “It’s definitely the biggest win of my career. I did it in such a good way, such a good match. Very, very strong and smart till the end. I didn’t try to be more powerful than her, because, anyway, it’s impossible. I just tried to play with my weapon. I’m really, really happy and proud of myself.” Although, exhausted by her efforts and managing to earn just three games against Venus Williams in the final, she was delighted with her week.

“It was a great week for me,” said. “I would have loved to make like a better final, you know, with a little bit more of suspense. And the score is really too hard to finish the week, such a good week, but I will have to take all the positive things out of this week. I think there is a lot, so I’m still very motivated for the rest of the season.”

And motivated she was, as she proved that her victory over Serena wasn’t just a matter of luck as she beat her again in the third round at Wimbledon. And then she made it three wins when Serena was forced to retire against her in Wuhan. A few weeks after her Dubai adventure she claimed the fourth title of her career in Katowice, upsetting world number three Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals.


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