Alize Cornet upsets Garbiñe Muguruza, but could retire soon

Alize Cornet

In 2006 at the Australian Open, Alize Cornet was ready to hop and start her Grand Slam career. She has never won a Grand Slam, but she has played the tournaments week after week when she was very good and mediocre.

On Wednesday in Melbourne, she played terrific, upsetting the No, 3 Garbiñe Muguruza 6-3, 6-3. After the match, she said that she played almost perfect. She was on top of the ball. Last week, as she said, she played awful Time is ticking now. So this year, she wants to have a lot of fun.

“Last week I played one of the worst match of my life in Adelaide. I was not free at all. I was, like, completely stressed,“ Cornet said. “I don’t feel this way yet maybe because it’s not so clear in my mind. I wish I could play relaxed like I did today on every match. That would make things so much easier.”

The 31-year-old might retire as the end of this year. She hasn’t decided yet. She is still pretty fast and she can scramble. Her forehand and her backhand are decent, but not fantastic. If she had better strokes, she would have gone into the quarterfinals at the Slams, but she hasn’t yet.

“This is pretty much how I feel that it’s going to go, playing a whole year, playing 100 percent, trying to beat this Grand Slam record of consecutive play in Grand Slam. After that I think it will be a good time for me to retire,” said Cornet who was won six titles. “I’m not sure. I don’t want to say it’s going to happen this way. I’m not closing any door to keep going. But I gave so much to this game and to this tennis life, yeah, I feel I’m pretty much ready for the next chapter. At least by the end of the year, I think I’ll be ready.”

There were some great days, and even months, when she understood how to play, the right way. However, when she was on the court, she could get nervous or angry when she misses. Her mental focus would waiver.

“There were definitely some tough times during my career, but I think it’s the same for everybody. Like everybody, I wanted to quit tennis many times because sometimes it’s just too painful to work and not to be rewarded for your work, to have some tough losses,” she said. “Sometimes you lose, for example, with match point. You go back to your hotel room and you go, ‘What’s the point of doing all that?’

“This is not an easy job. You’re on the road basically 10 months out of 12, so you never see your family. It’s really hard to have a love life. All these things around tennis make it complicated. But the love of the game has always been stronger. I’m telling myself that I’m playing probably my last year. I’m not sure yet. When I stepped on the court, I was like, ‘You know what, just enjoy the moment because you don’t know if you’re going to come back.’ I think that’s what made the difference.”

NOTES
Muguruza won the 2021 WTA Finals and it looked like the No. 3 was ready to win another Grand Slam. But not now. “It’s a tough day. I didn’t fell at all my game,” she said. “My serve wasn’t there. I think my shots weren’t there also. Tactically, I think I wasn’t doing the right decisions either. Yeah, a little bit surprised about my level. I am a little disappointed, too.” I would say so….

The 18-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz is on fire, and he really wants to reach into the second week. He is already very good.

Roberto Bautista Agut had a huge blowout, crushing Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1, 6-0, 6-3. “You have to give of course a lot of credit to Roberto, which I think played absolutely solid and maybe kind of a perfect match. But in tennis there are always two people involved. His level was great, and mine was maybe poor.”

Reilly Opelka and Taylor Fritz are still in the tournament. Maybe in the second week? That would be huge, given in the third round they will have to play Denis Shapovalov and Bautista Agut, respectively The Americans are the underdogs.

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