Alize Cornet compared herself to a fine French wine as she left Iga Swiatek's Wimbledon dream in tatters.

Frenchwoman Cornet, who eight years ago produced a Wimbledon sensation when beating Serena Williams, delivered another show-stopping result when she won 6-4 6-2 against top seed and world number one Swiatek.

It happened on the tournament's middle Saturday and on Court One, just as the victory over Williams in 2014 had.

Swiatek had reeled off 37 successive wins, landing six titles in the process, including a second French Open crown. However, she has appeared far from comfortable on the grass in London, and it was clear she would be ripe for such an upset if her performance level from the first two rounds did not improve.

Cornet, who at the age of 32 is competing in a record-tying 62nd consecutive grand slam tournament, will face Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday for a place in the quarter-finals.

In an on-court interview, Cornet said of her win: "It reminds me of the time I beat Serena on the same court eight years ago. I think this court is a lucky charm for me.

"I want to say I'm a huge fan of Iga. She is just so talented, and she's such an amazing player and such a nice ambassador of women's tennis, so I'm very flattered that I beat her today.

"I think this kind of match is what I'm living for and practising for every day. It really drives me, and I knew I could do it. Somehow I had this belief, even through she had 37 wins in a row.

"It was like, if there is a moment you can beat her it's now, on grass. She feels a little less comfortable than on other surfaces, so I was just believing very hard, very focused, and I have the best team by my side and the best crowd also.

"So I guess I like the upsets. It's a really nice feeling right now.

"I'm like a good wine. In France, a good wine always ages well. It's unreal, I'm playing one of the best seasons of my career. I feel great on the court. I'm having so much fun. Eight years later after my first qualification into the second week I can see I'm still there, I'm still so motivated, and I still have the fire in me."

Swiatek slumped from a 2-0 lead in the second set, dropping six successive games as the match slipped away.

The beaten Pole said: "I know I didn't play good tennis. I was pretty confused about my tactics. When I was practising I didn’t feel in the best shape. So I was aware this could happen.

"Usually when I'm coming back, I have some kind of a plan and I know what to change.

"Here I didn't know what to change. I was confused. On a grass court everything happens so quickly. I didn't tank it, but I just didn't know what to do."

Iga Swiatek's 37-match winning streak came to an end on Wimbledon's Court One as wily Frenchwoman Alize Cornet pulled off a sensational third-round victory.

Top seed and world number one Swiatek had not lost since February, when she was beaten by Jelena Ostapenko in Dubai, reeling off six successive tournament wins, including her second French Open title. It was the longest winning streak in women's singles in the 21st century, and now it is over.

The 21-year-old Polish player had not looked comfortable on grass in her opening two rounds at Wimbledon, and she was outsmarted on Saturday by the experienced Cornet, losing 6-4 6-2 in an hour and 32 minutes.

At the age of 32, Cornet is playing a record-tying 62nd consecutive grand slam, matching Ai Sugiyama's record. She is also enjoying her best year at the majors, reaching a slam quarter-final for the first time in Australia before getting to the third round at Roland Garros.

Crucially, Cornet already had a famous Wimbledon scalp behind her coming into this match. Eight years ago, on the equivalent first Saturday of the championships and on the same court, Cornet defeated Serena Williams.

On this occasion, Cornet swept to a swift double break against the former Wimbledon girls' champion, opening a 3-0 lead. Swiatek got back into the opening set by recovering one break, but she could not draw level.

Swiatek then had a chance to break in the second game of the second set, and a 2-0 lead was hers when Cornet went long with a forehand. Yet the lead was immediately squandered, a dazzling stop volley from Cornet saving game point before a looping backhand winner brought the set back onto serve.

From there, Cornet pulled away, Swiatek's belief fading as the match raced away from her. At her 15th Wimbledon, Cornet was able to celebrate another show-stopping moment.

Data slam: Alize in wonderland

This was a 24th career win for Cornet against a player ranked inside the top 10, and a fourth against a world number one – the previous three all came against Serena Williams, all in 2014 (including one by retirement). The world number 37, who reached a career-high ranking of 11th in 2009, was facing Swiatek for the first time and now goes on to tackle Ajla Tomljanovic for a place in the last eight.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Cornet – 16/7
Swiatek – 21/33

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Cornet – 1/2
Swiatek – 3/1

BREAK POINTS WON
Cornet – 5/6
Swiatek – 2/6

Iva Swiatek says it is "pretty special" to have matched Martina Hingis' run of 37 victories in a row after coming through a tough test with Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove.

The world number one was taken to three sets by lucky loser Kerkhove in Thursday's second-round tie at Wimbledon but came out on top 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Court No. 1.

Swiatek overtook Monica Seles' career-best 36-match winning streak with her latest triumph and can surpass Hingis with victory over Alize Cornet in the next round.

That would see the Pole hold the record for the most successive victories on the WTA Tour since 1990, something she would take great pride in.

"I think another match to this number [37] is pretty special for me, but you know, when I'm out there, I'm not really thinking about that," she said in her on-court interview.

"I'm just trying to play the best tennis possible on grass, and the result is going to come. I don't have full influence in it, but I'm happy that [the winning streak] is 37.

"Now I'm going to do my best to get even more."

 

Swiatek still has some way to go to match the all-time winning run, with the record held by Martina Navratilova (74 in a row during 1984).

The two-time French Open winner was far from her best against world number 138 Kerkhove in a match lasting more than two hours that saw her broken three times.

She dropped a set for just the seventh time during her incredible run, which stretches back to defeat against Jelena Ostapenko in mid-February.

In doing so, Kerkhove became the lowest-ranked player to win a set against the number one female in the world since Carla Suarez Navarro – also ranked 138 – against Ash Barty at Wimbledon last year.

"She played a really great match, and it seemed that she really understood how to play today," Swiatek added. 

"But I'm really happy that I could sometimes just fight back and be the last one to play that ball in. I'm pretty happy that I'm going to have another chance to play here."

Swiatek has now won 46 matches this year in total. In the entirety of the 2021 season, only Anett Kontaveit and Ons Jabeur (both 48) won more matches.

Up next is former world number 11 Cornet, who is playing her 62nd consecutive grand slam tournament, which ties Ai Sugiyama for the Open Era record.

Alize Cornet claims several players contracted COVID-19 at last month's French Open, but kept the outbreak quiet in order to avoid mass withdrawals from the tournament.

Wimbledon has already been rocked by two high-profile male players withdrawing after testing positive for the virus, with last year's runner-up Matteo Berrettini and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic both pulling out ahead of scheduled first-round matches on Tuesday.

Now Cornet, who equalled Ai Sugiyama's all-time record of 62 consecutive grand slam main-draw appearances in a win over Yulia Putintseva on day two, claims there were cases at Roland Garros that did not come to light.

"At Roland Garros, there was a Covid epidemic, no one talked about it. In the locker room, everyone got it and we said nothing," she told L'Equipe.

"When it comes out in the press, with big players, it will start to set fire to the lake everywhere and that worries me a little.

"[2021 French Open winner Barbora] Krejcikova withdrew saying she had Covid, and the whole locker room was sick. 

"At some point, we all might have had the flu. The thing is, we have the symptoms, itchy throat… we play and everything is fine, it's fine. 

"At Roland, I think there have been a few cases and it's a tacit agreement between us. We are not going to self-test to get into trouble! 

"Afterwards, I saw girls wearing masks, maybe because they knew and didn't want to pass it on. You also have to have a civic spirit."

Feliciano Lopez equalled Roger Federer's record of 81 main-draw appearances at grand slam events in the Open era but he was beaten in the first round at Wimbledon.

The 40-year-old made his grand slam debut at the 2001 French Open and had appeared in every major since the 2002 event in Paris until he failed to progress through qualifying at Roland Garros this year.

Spaniard Lopez went down in straight sets to Botic van de Zandschulp at SW19 on Tuesday.

Ranked 214 in the world, Lopez is a three-time quarter-finalist at the All England Club, while he also reached the quarter-finals of the US Open in 2015.

Since then, the veteran has never progressed further than the third round at a grand slam.

Fabrice Santoro is third on the list behind Federer and Lopez with 70 main-draw appearances at majors, with Mikhail Youzhny and Fernando Verdasco on 69.

Bianca Andreescu dismantled top seed Daria Kasatkina to reach the semi-finals of the Bad Homburg Open, while Beatriz Haddad Maia moved a step closer to a third straight title in Eastbourne. 

A resounding 6-4 6-1 win over Kasatkina saw Andreescu advance to the last four of a WTA Tour grass-court tournament for the first time. 

The last time she reached the semi-finals in any event was the 2021 Miami Open, where she finished as runner-up after retiring with an ankle injury in the second set of the final against Ash Barty. 

Andreescu limited Kasatkina to just 17.6 per cent of the points behind the Russian's second serve and saved four of the six break points she faced to book a meeting with Simona Halep. 

Former world number one Halep sent down 10 aces and converted all three of the break points that came her way in a 6-2 6-1 success over Amanda Anisimova. 

The other semi-final will be an all-French affair after Alize Cornet and Caroline Garcia downed home hopes Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki respectively. 

After going all the way in Nottingham and Birmingham this month, Haddad Maia progressed to the semi-finals of the Eastbourne International courtesy of a walkover against Lesia Tsurenko. 

Next up for Haddad Maia is Petra Kvitova, who she beat in straight sets in the first round in Birmingham, after the Czech ended Harriet Dart's run to the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-4 win. 

Jelena Ostapenko cruised to a 6-3 6-2 victory against Anhelina Kalinina and will take on Camila Giorgi for a place in the final. Giorgi comfortably overcame lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova 6-2 6-1 in 64 minutes. 

Garbine Muguruza saw her Wimbledon preparations take a hit as she fell to a last-16 defeat at the Eastbourne International on Wednesday. 

World number 26 Camila Giorgi battled from a break down in both sets to beat fifth seed Muguruza 7-5 6-3 in an hour and 53 minutes. 

That meant 12th seed Giorgi made her second straight quarter-final, following a last-eight appearance in Birmingham, and will next face Viktoriya Tomova, who defeated Kirsten Flipkens 3-6 6-3 6-4. 

Jil Teichmann, the 10th seed at the tournament, was a notable second-round elimination, falling to a 7-6 (9-7) 4-6 6-3 defeat to Briton Harriet Dart, who later triumphed 6-4 2-6 6-4 over Marta Kostyuk. 

Dart's fellow Briton Katie Boulter stunned last year's Wimbledon runner-up Karolina Pliskova in the second round but had no such luck against Petra Kvitova, losing 5-7 6-0 7-5. 

Beatriz Haddad Maia, the winner at the Birmingham Open last week, extended to a 12-match winning streak with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Jodie Burrage. 

Jelena Ostapenko also progressed after Madison Keys retired when 6-3 down and will next face Anhelina Kalinina, who battled to a 6-3 2-6 6-3 win over 16th seed Yulia Putintseva. 

While seeds fell at Eastbourne, there were not as many shocks at the Bad Homburg Open, where Angelique Kerber defeated Lucia Bronzetti 6-2 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals. 

Fourth seed Simona Halep also made the last eight with 6-0 6-3 victory over Tamara Zidansek and will meet Amanda Anisimova after she won an All-American match against Ann Li 6-0 6-2. 

Alize Cornet downed Tatjana Maria 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to tee up a clash with Kerber, while Bianca Andreescu will meet top seed Daria Kasatkina after defeating Katie Swan 6-4 6-4. 

Garbine Muguruza recorded a much-needed win to reach the last 16 at the Eastbourne International.

World number 10 Muguruza, who had only won two tour-level matches since the start of March, was tested in a gripping second-set tie-break by Magdalena Frech, eventually triumphing 6-1 7-6 (9-7).

After the victory, Muguruza said she was pleased to have overcome challenging weather conditions to reach the next stage, saying: "I feel like I fought hard against the wind, and I haven't played many matches on grass either.

"I could see today that if I didn't fight as hard as I can, I wasn't going to win."

A minor upset saw 17th seed Alison Riske slip to a 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) loss to Magda Linette, while Yulia Putintseva surged to a 7-5 6-1 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo and seventh seed Barbora Krejcikova saw her contest with Marta Kostyuk halted by darkness at one set apiece.

Ajla Tomljanovic beat Aleksandra Krunic 6-0 4-6 6-3 and Heather Watson went down 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 to Canada's Rebecca Marino, as the Sussex crowds prepared for Serena Williams' eagerly anticipated doubles outing alongside Ons Jabeur on Tuesday.

There was frustration for Muguruza's fellow former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber at the Bad Homburg Open.

Kerber's match against Anastasia Gasanova got under way, but play was stopped due to fading light and a damp court after a rain-hit day. Third seed Kerber led 4-2 in the first set of a contest that will conclude on Tuesday.

The only other seed in action in Germany made routine progress, as France's Alize Cornet raced to a 6-2 6-4 win over Anna Kalinskaya.

Alize Cornet was the highest seed in action on the first day of the Charleston Open, and showed her class, beating Alycia Parks 6-0 7-5.

Cornet, the 12 seed, was nearly perfect in the first set, winning 86 per cent of her service points (12-14) and 80 per cent of her return points (12-15).

15 seed Amanda Anisimova also made it through, and with an identical scoreline, defeating American compatriot Sachia Vickery 6-0 7-5.

China's Shuai Zhang is the 16 seed, and she also only needed two sets to see off unseeded opponent Francesca Di Lorenzo 6-2 6-4.

Hungary's Anna Bondar earned a second-round matchup against world number three Paula Badosa after defeating the Netherlands' Arianne Hartono 6-1 6-4.

Italian Jasmine Paolini will meet six seed and world number 13 Jessica Pegula in the second round after beating Romania's Gabriela Lee 6-2 6-3.

Meanwhile, in Bogota at the Copa Colsanitas, Brazilian qualifier Laura Pigossi defeated five seed Harmony Tan 6-4 6-3.

Top seed and world number 33 Camila Osorio will kick off her tournament on Tuesday against Ylena In-Albon.

Alize Cornet crashed out on home soil as the Lyon Open got under way on Monday.

Fourth seed Cornet went down to a surprise defeat against Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa to disappoint the French support.

Bucsa, the world number 139, broke serve on six occasions as she came from behind to triumph 1-6 6-4 6-1 and dispatch Cornet, who was the highest-seeded player taking to the court on day one.

Fifth seed Jasmine Paolini almost joined Cornet in suffering an early exit at the WTA 250 event.

However, the Italian rallied to defeat Irina Bara 4-6 7-5 6-3 in a battle lasting two hours and 25 minutes.

Elsewhere, six aces helped Varvara Gracheva edge past Kristina Kucova in a 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (7-2) win.

Paolini's compatriot Camila Giorgi is the number one seed at the tournament.

Giorgi is due to start her campaign on Tuesday after being handed a standout draw against home favourite Caroline Garcia.

Seeds Anett Kontaveit, Belinda Bencic and Elise Mertens all came through their first round matches at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Monday.

Eighth seed Mertens came back from a break down in the deciding set to beat Alize Cornet 3-6 6-2 6-4.

Mertens, who had not beaten Cornet since 2018, will face either Petra Martic or Kamilla Rakhimova in the next round as she bids to reach her first quarter-final of 2022.

"It was a very tight match," Mertens said. "It could go either way, it was a battle. It's always difficult against her but I just kept fighting.

"I think I raised my level a little bit in the second and third sets. I stepped more into the court, the service was a bit better and I ran better."

Second seed Kontaveit needed three sets to get past Jil Teichmann, ultimately prevailing 6-3 1-6 6-3, while number five seed Belinda Bencic squeezed past Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-5).

In Monday's other game, Ekaterina Alexandrova defeated Camila Giorgi 6-2 1-6 6-2.

Alize Cornet "felt out of breath all the time" during her Australian Open quarter-final loss to Danielle Collins.

Collins was too good for Cornet in a 7-5 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday, reaching her second Australian Open semi-final in four years.

The American 27th seed hit 28 winners and 29 unforced errors in a strong performance against Cornet, who was playing her maiden major quarter-final.

Cornet said Collins, who will face Iga Swiatek in the last four, never allowed her to settle at Melbourne Park.

"Well, she's very powerful, even more than what I expected. Her ball is going really fast in the air and she takes the ball super early," the Frenchwoman said.

"All the time you feel really oppressed. I felt out of breath all the time. I couldn't, like, place my game. She just never let me do it, never gave me the time to do it. Yeah, she's impressive.

"But today she was pretty quiet. She didn't scream that much. When I see her playing on TV, sometimes she's yelling, 'C'mon.' She looks like a lion.

"Today I don't think I gave her enough battle so she could express herself."

Collins was playing her first quarter-final since the 2020 French Open and dictated from the outset against Cornet.

The 28-year-old hopes her experience in the latter stages of tournaments helps her late in the Australian Open.

"Yeah, I think now that I've made quarter-finals at French and semi-finals here before, I think I can use those experiences to certainly help me in the tight-pressure moments on court. I can use that to my advantage," Collins said.

"Last time I was here in the semi-finals I had never done that before. I've made some deeper runs in tournaments since then. Hopefully I can carry the confidence that I've gained over the last couple years and be able to use that to my advantage."

Danielle Collins ended Alize Cornet's dream run and reached her second Australian Open semi-final with a straight-sets win on Wednesday.

Collins moved into the last four in Melbourne for the second time in four years thanks to a 7-5 6-1 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Australia Day.

The American 27th seed, who will face either Iga Swiatek or Kaia Kanepi in the semi-finals, was in solid form in warm conditions.

Collins was the aggressor throughout against Cornet, who was playing her maiden grand slam quarter-final in her 63rd main-draw appearance.

 

It was Collins who dictated the majority of points from the baseline early and landed a break of serve in the fourth game.

Cornet saved three break points, but there was no denying Collins on her fourth opportunity, a powerful return setting up a simple volley winner for a 3-1 lead.

Collins looked the more comfortable in the warm weather, but Cornet hung in there and broke back when her opponent was trying to serve out the first set, the American's backhand letting her down with three unforced errors.

But Cornet dropped the first set when serving to stay in it, saving two set points but not a third – set up with a Collins forehand winner down the line – as she framed a forehand long.

Collins crushed a forehand return winner to break serve in the second game of the second set to take complete control of proceedings.

She broke to love to grab a 4-0 lead, cruising through the second set on her way to another last-four appearance in Melbourne.

 

DATA SLAM: Contender Collins finding consistency

The dangerous Collins has found consistency since the back end of last year.

She is now 31-7 since July 12, 2021 and will be hard to stop by either Swiatek or Kanepi in the semi-finals.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Collins – 28/29
Cornet – 11/17

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Collins – 5/4
Cornet – 2/0

BREAK POINTS WON
Collins – 4/9
Cornet – 1/3

An emotional Alize Cornet said "it is never too late to try again" after reaching her maiden grand slam quarter-final with victory over Simona Halep at the Australian Open.

Cornet, who celebrated her 32nd birthday on Saturday, battled to a 6-4 3-6 6-4 victory in stifling conditions on Rod Laver Arena to set up a last-eight showdown with Danielle Collins, who beat Elise Mertens in three sets.

The Frenchwoman has now defeated two in-form former number ones in Halep and Garbine Muguruza, having also recovered from a set and 1-4 down to overcome Tamara Zidansek.

She is through to her first quarter-final in what is her 63rd grand slam appearance and is the first Frenchwoman to reach this stage at Melbourne Park since Marion Bartoli in 2009.

Cornet is playing in her 60th straight major, and should she compete in the main draws at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, will set a new record for consecutive appearances in grand slams.

"It feels amazing," Cornet said in her on-court interview with Jelena Dokic. "It was a battle with Simona today. In this heat after 30 minutes we were both dying on the court.

"We kept going for two and a half hours with all our heart. Congrats to Simona because I know she struggled a lot and I admire this player so much. 

"She's such a fighter and an example to me. To beat her today to go to my first quarter-final is a dream come true. I don't know what to say. It's just magic. It's never too late to try again.

"This is why I keep playing tennis, for this moment where I can share all these emotions on the court with you."

Cornet had reached the last 16 at majors on five occasions prior to her victory over Halep in a run dating back 13 years when narrowly missing out on the Australian Open quarter-finals.

She was pegged back from a set and break up against Halep, losing 16 straight points at one point, and was clearly struggling with the heat as the match dragged into a decider.

But Cornet, who recently suggested this might be her final season playing professional tennis, showed incredible resolve to break Halep in the seventh game and hold her own serve to break her quarter-final hoodoo.

Halep congratulated Cornet, posting to her official Instagram account: "You have been stronger today! All the respect for you, Alize. Enjoy. I'll keep working to get better for another three-hour match when we meet again."

In her post-match media duties, Halep said: "I have only nice words about her, because I like her on court, how she's fighting.

"She deserves what is happening to her now. She works hard all the time, and I wish her good luck. I really want her to make this dream coming true."

There was to be another emotional moment for Cornet at the end of her victory speech as she praised 2009 Australian Open quarter-finalist Dokic for her work off the court since retiring eight years ago.

"I want to thank my box, but also I want to tell you something... how you moved on in your life, I think we can all congratulate you. You were an amazing player and now an amazing commentator," Cornet said as the pair embraced on court.

Dokic, who last week called out social media trolls for body-shaming her, responded: "You just made me cry. I can’t believe I'm crying. Thank you. Alize Cornet."

Alize Cornet is simply living in the moment at the Australian Open, after she suggested 2022 will be her final year on the court.

Cornet defeated reigning WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-3 on Thursday to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the sixth time in her career.

The 31-year-old did not offer up a single break point across the 87-minute encounter with 2020 Australian Open finalist Muguruza, who entered the tournament ranked third in the world.

It marked Cornet's third straight win over Spain's Muguruza, who is a two-time grand slam champion.

Cornet is playing in her 63rd grand slam and 17th Australian Open, yet the Frenchwoman has never progressed deeper than the fourth round at a major.

This is Cornet's 60th successive appearance in the main draw at a grand slam, meaning she is just two shy of the record held by Ai Sugiyama (62).

Should Cornet, who will play Tamara Zidansek in round three, feature in the main draw of each of this year's majors, she will set the outright record.

However, should she achieve that feat, it may well mark the end of her career.

"I'm telling myself that I'm playing probably my last year. I'm not sure yet," she told reporters.

"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.

"Playing a whole year, playing 100 per cent, trying to beat this record of consecutive play in a grand slam. After that, I think it will be a good time for me to retire. 

"I gave so much to this game and to this tennis life. I feel I'm pretty much ready for the next chapter.

"It's been a while [since I] beat a Top 5 player in a slam, so it's a really good feeling. 

"I really enjoyed it today, which doesn't mean I will enjoy it tomorrow! That's why when the fun is here, you have to take it. You never know how you're going to feel in the next match."

 

Muguruza was not the only big name to drop out on Thursday, with sixth seed Anett Kontaveit falling foul of teenager Clara Tauson.

The 19-year-old Dane needed just 79 minutes to seal a 6-2 6-4 victory that brings up her first win over a Top 10 opponent in only her second such match.

Kontaveit won 28 of her last 32 matches in 2021 to break into the Top 10.

"It's the first time I'm in the third round of a slam," said Tauson. 

"Playing a player like her to reach it, it's a really big achievement for me. Obviously, it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments.

"Doing it in a slam is a really great feeling. It's just a lot of hard work that I've put into it."

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