Runner-up Alize Cornet set for Dubai return

Runner-up Alize Cornet set for Dubai return
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Published February 13th, 2015 - 19:03 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Alize Cornet
Alize Cornet

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 is thrilled to return to the scene of one of the greatest weeks of her career.

Her Dubai debut came close to matching that of Andy Murray, who 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.

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.

Incredibly, Cornet had only received a place in the main draw when Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew due to injury, but she played with confidence and conviction throughout and held her nerve as Serena 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 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,” she 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 and former Dubai champion Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals, and in September she advanced to yet another final in Guangzhou.

“It was wonderful to witness the skill and enthusiasm of Alize Cornet throughout the week and her victory over Serena was one of the most interesting results in the history of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman, Dubai Duty Free, the tournament owners and organisers.

“She continued to play well throughout the season and it will be interesting to see whether being back once again in the environment of one of her greatest career victories will inspire her to enjoy another successful week.”

Play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begins with the WTA event from February 15 featuring world number one and reigning US and Australian Open champion Serena, Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, French Open and WTA Finals runner-up Halep, former Dubai champions Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki, recent Brisbane finalist Ana Ivanovic and reigning Dubai champion Venus.

Tickets for the event are available from the box office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Tickets are still available for every day of the women’s week and start at just Dh75 for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Tickets are also still available for the first three days of men’s week.

Grandstand tickets can also be bought online at www.timeouttickets.com. For more information visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2015. All rights reserved.

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