Thanks for visiting the Australian Open Website. We can see you’re using Internet Explorer, and wanted to let you know that we will no longer be supporting this browser in future. We’d recommend you download a new browser if you'd like to continue keeping up with all of the latest tennis news!

Living in the present proves right recipe for Cornet

  • Alex Sharp

For the best part of two decades, Alize Cornet has personified resilience on a tennis court. 

The Frenchwomen, ranked as high as No.11 in 2009, has duelled with all of the modern-day greats. But shush, whisper it, don't call her a veteran. 

MORE: All the scores from Day 6 at AO 2022

Flourishing on her 60th consecutive Grand Slam appearance, Cornet has "chills," having earned a ticket to the second week of Australian Open 2022.  

"It's been 13 years after my first fourth round, and I'm back in the fourth round of Australian Open, oh my god!" exclaimed the world No.61. 

MORE: AO 2022 women's singles draw

"I hate this word, but yes I am (a veteran now)." 

The reporter clearly chose that word due to Cornet's longevity. The 32-year-old stated earlier in the week it could be her final season. Time to reconsider? 

"I take it out. No, just kidding." 

So, should this be Cornet's last campaign, she's determined to soak in every moment, starting with an impressive run in Melbourne.  

"Definitely I'm not going to lie. The results will help," admitted the Frenchwoman. 

"But I think it's to enjoy the process of maybe living my last year on the tour. I want to enjoy the time I spend on-site, to talk with the players that maybe I will not see anymore in the future. It makes everything a little bit more special. 

"I think what's the most important is to really keep working on this notion of living the present moment even on the court." 

Living in the present has provided the perfect potion thus far at Melbourne Park. 

In the second round, the 32-year-old subdued world No.3 Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-3, and Cornet then battled back from the brink on Saturday to toast her birthday in style with 4-6 6-4 6-2 victory over 29th seed Tamara Zidansek.

Cornet celebrated her birthday in the best possible fashion

"I have chills. I don't realise what I just accomplished," she said. 

"Definitely it's a huge proof of resilience what I did today on the court, always believing. I think it was 4-1, 30-love (second set) and anything can happen with tennis. I think I just stick to the thought that I could make it. I always believed in it." 

Back in 2009, Cornet made her major breakthrough in Melbourne. 

"It's definitely a very, very special victory being back in the second week 13 years after my first second week at the Australian Open," said the former world No. 11. 

"It's quite special. The day of my birthday, I mean, what else can I ask for?

"I think that's why we all keep playing and keep pushing ourselves because we're so addicted to these feelings, this joy right after the match point then you can share it with your box, then with your family. It's really amazing. 

"To start the year this way definitely wants to make me play some more tennis." 

Cornet remembers her 2009 run well, which was narrowly ended by third seed Dinara Safina 7-5 in the decider.  

"I was such a kid, the first time I was here at the fourth round. I lost with two match points against Safina. That was a really tough loss," added Cornet, reflecting on life lessons within that 13-year span from teenager to 'veteran'. 

"That you always have to keep working, keep believing in your dreams, keep loving the game." 

Cornet finds herself back in the round of 16 in Melbourne for the first time in 13 years

This week has clinched a sixth career fourth-round showing for the 32-year-old, but the major last eight has always just evaded her grasp. 

"I don't want to think about this quarterfinal because I don't want it to be an obsession. I'm enjoying so much my run here so far," insisted Cornet. 

"I had a really great time on the court again with the crowd supporting me. I want to fill my heart with all this energy without thinking I might get finally my quarterfinal that I'm looking for over the past 15 years. If it happens, great. If not, it's still amazing." 

The world No.61 will have to bring her fierce fighting capabilities to down two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep on Monday. 

"I followed her for many years. She's a player that I really admire, that I also identify myself a little bit to," explained Cornet, 3-1 up in their head-to-head from matches between 2011-15. 

"She has this will and she's such a fighter, the way she plays with variation and stuff. 

"I've seen her play in Melbourne when she won the tournament (250 event earlier this month). I think now she's back on track for real. I can see she is ambitious in her eyes. I would not be surprised if she goes very far in the tournament."