Will we see Alizé Cornet again at Roland-Garros? Entering a Philippe-Chatrier court with bare stands, the Frenchwoman struggled… but ended up giving in to the Italian Camila Giorgi (37ᵉ world player), Sunday May 28, in the first round of the Parisian Grand Slam (6-3, 6-4 in 1 hour 42 minutes).
“It wasn’t great tennis on my part and she played her game. The public pushed me, but it was not enough.she reacted, disappointed, at a press conference, before adding that she ” born [savait] not ” if she will play a 20ᵉ Roland-Garros next year.
If between Alizé Cornet and the Porte d’Auteuil tournament, it’s not mad love – his best result is a round of 16, in 2017 -, it remains a story that lasts. The Parisian public discovered her in 2005, the year she won her first match on clay at the French Open.
Since then, the Niçoise has not missed an edition. Champion of longevity, this Roland-Garros represented her 65ᵉ rank participation in a Grand Slam; it is a record, which she has held since the US Open 2022.
“It was the love of the game that kept me going so long”
“She always wants to play, to train every day and to make the effortargues Marion Bartoli, winner of Wimbledon in 2013 and consultant for Prime Video. It doesn’t surprise me and I find it really admirable. »
At 33, the player has been thinking about retirement for a while now, without giving herself a deadline. Last year, between weariness and mental wear, the subject came up several times on the table. She had finally re-engaged for at least twelve months.
“I thought it was a shame to stop when I had such a good ranking [elle a fini la saison 31ᵉ]the season had given me a lot of positive emotions”explained to World the Frenchwoman, met during the Clarins trophy in 2023, at Lagardère Paris Racing, two weeks before Roland-Garros.
Now 62ᵉ in the world, the Niçoise can no longer project herself. ” Amelie [Mauresmo, directrice du tournoi] asked me whether to prepare a ceremony. I told him not to do one, because I’m not sure”she says.
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His doubt is all the more understandable since in 2022 Alizé Cornet has never ceased to amaze his world. Then 61ᵉ in the world, she qualified for the first time in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament, at the Australian Open. She then created the sensation, in the third round of Wimbledon, by ending the incredible series of thirty-seven victories in a row by Iga Swiatek, then she responded again present at the US Open by eliminating the defending champion, Emma Raducanu, entry. In August, she had also passed the milestone of five hundred career victories.
“She comes to the epitome of what she can do, summarizes her friend and former player Camille Pin, consultant on Prime Video. She was strong very young, and behind her had to work on things that held her back. The older you get, the simpler everything seems. »
Packing and unpacking almost every week to go from country to country, being alone in the face of the pressure of matches, maintaining the same rigor and discipline – on and off the court – such has been the routine of the Frenchwoman for eighteen years. “I think it was the love of the game that kept me going all this time”she analyzes with hindsight.
“I will stop when I can no longer keep up this pace and the desire to live my best years in a serene way takes over”she continues.
To have fun
In the meantime, Alizé Cornet is trying to live more from day to day. No more racing for titles and rankings – goals that have it “puff” throughout his career – it’s now match after match: “Each victory, I take, I am happy; defeats, I evacuate in ten minutes and it’s super pleasant, me who cried for hours after a match at the time. » The French assumes it, all she wants is to have fun.
Its programming is therefore a little more “à la carte”. In February, just like in March, she played only one tournament. Conversely, she chooses to play every week during the clay court tour. “Now I go instinctively. I no longer hesitate to skip certain tournaments because, without envy, I go into the wall »she explains.
Alizé Cornet arrived at Porte d’Auteuil without guarantee: she had to wait until April and Charleston (United States) to win a match in 2023. She currently has only five victories, after ending her 2022 season early, “worn out”.
The French assures her, she will go until the end of the year. “There are deadlines that make me want like the Hopman Cup, in my club in Nice, and the US Open. » Only then will it be time to take stock.
Source: Le Monde