Alize Cornet Peaking for the Slams in 2022

Alize Cornet 2022 Australian Open

Alize Cornet made her first professional steps on the tennis circuit in 2004, and 18 years later the Frenchwoman is still going strong. She’s been especially impressive at the Majors this year, currently owning an 11-3 win/loss record and finding herself in the third round of the US Open. At every single Grand Slam event of 2022, Cornet has managed to take out a former champion of one of the sport’s four most prestigious tournaments. Despite a long history on the tour (66 consecutive Major appearances), the 32-year-old is still prevailing in physical battles and breaking some new milestones.

Australian Open – eliminated Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza

Despite not scoring a single win in the warm-up events, Cornet was able to make a quarterfinal of a Grand Slam for the very first time at this year’s Australian Open. In the second round, she scored a massive upset over Garbine Muguruza, who won the WTA Finals at the end of 2021 and was widely considered one of the favorites for the title (in hindsight though, the Spaniard’s 2022 campaign has been very disappointing).

Perhaps even more impressive was her fourth-round dismissal of Simona Halep. Cornet had previously held a 0-5 win/loss record at that stage of Grand Slams, but managed to prevail over the former World No. 1 in a draining encounter that had both players struggling physically in the Australian heat. The 32-year-old lost to the eventual runner-up, Danielle Collins, in the quarterfinals.

Roland Garros – took out Jelena Ostapenko

Just like at the Australian Open, Cornet was entering Roland Garros without any expectations. She was on a four-match losing streak and found herself in a very tough section of the draw. In the second round, she had to take on the 2017 champion, Jelena Ostapenko. Once again, the Frenchwoman produced and eliminated the Latvian 6-0 1-6 6-3. Unfortunately, the 32-year-old wasn’t fully fit and retired in her next encounter against Qinwen Zheng.

Wimbledon – snapped Iga Swiatek’s 37-match win streak

Wimbledon had been a happy hunting ground for Cornet before, particularly in 2014 when she took out the World No. 1 Serena Williams at SW19. Her third-round win in 2022 was very comparable or in some ways, even more monumental–Iga Swiatek arrived in London on a 35-match win streak and was sitting at 37 by the time she was due to play the veteran Frenchwoman.

By taking Swiatek out 6-4 6-2, Cornet handed the Pole her first loss in almost five months. The 32-year-old counter-punched extremely well and mixed up the rhythm to eventually completely destabilize the game of Swiatek, who faded away mentally in the second set. Cornet would go on to lose against Alja Tomljanovic in the fourth round.

US Open – beat the defending champion, Emma Raducanu

Still unseeded for the Majors, the Frenchwoman drew the 2021 US Open champion, Emma Raducanu, in the opening round at New York. While the teenage phenom failed to push on after that success, she was still regarded as a potential dark horse for the event after a promising display in Cincinnati. Once again, Cornet proved her guile and intelligence can go a long way against younger and seemingly more talented opposition.

The 32-year-old took out Katerina Siniakova in the second round and will now face Danielle Collins. With how she’s played in the Majors all year, another deep run could really be on the cards. Her performances at the most recent Grand Slam events convinced her to delay retirement at least until next year’s Roland Garros. She’s clearly still good enough to compete with the very best and perhaps especially with the very best. Cornet’s definitely one of the players whose games get elevated on the big stage.

Main Photo from Getty.