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Alize Cornet third round

Saturday 28 June 2014

Alize Cornet speaks to the media following her 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Serena Williams

Q.  You had a look on your face that you almost looked guilty when you walked in here.

ALIZE CORNET:  No, it's just that I'm impressed because it's the first time I'm coming in this room.  That's it.  I'm not used to it.

Q.  How do you feel in the hour since this win?

ALIZE CORNET:  I'm just calming down now because I was very excited for an hour.  I couldn't believe it.  I still cannot believe it, actually.

If somebody would have told me a couple years ago that I would be in second week here in Wimbledon, beating Serena, I wouldn't have believed it.

It feels great.  It shows that really improved these last years.  Of course, what a victory.  It's the best way to get the second week.

Q.  You said you couldn't play on grass a couple years ago.  How bad were you and how did you improve?

ALIZE CORNET:  I worked.  I worked a lot on it.  I worked on my forehand, which was the weakness on this surface.  I worked on the way I moved, as well.

You know, there is no secret.  It's all about working.

I think the most important is that I got to like it actually because before I didn't like grass.  It was just a pain to come here in Wimbledon.  I knew I will have a tough time on the court.  Since last year, it's the contrary.  I like coming here.  I like playing matches.  It's just different than the other tournaments.  I enjoy it.

Q.  What happened after that first set to get you back into this?

ALIZE CORNET:  I think the rain delay killed me a little bit because I started the match very well, like the two first games were really good.  I just lost my way a little bit.  I was not into the match, feeling a bit slow.  Serena was better on her side.

After that, you know, I think she lost a little bit her concentration in the beginning of the second set and I used it to come back in the match, and finally I played way better from the beginning of the second set.

I think then the battle was on.  After that, you know, I was trying to play just point after point, trying to fight as usual and play simple.  All that worked out finally.  It's very positive.

Q.  You scored a notable victory over her in Dubai earlier this year.  That was great, but it wasn't a Grand Slam or a tournament of this magnitude.  She said she didn't think about it.  Did you think about it?

ALIZE CORNET:  Of course.  Of course.  Even this morning I watched some images from this match in Dubai because this match was one of the best match of my season.  I was playing very, very good tactically and I really tried to take all these things out of this match to help me today.

You know, I just knew that I could do it because I did it once in Dubai, which is a big tournament in Dubai.  I thought, Okay, maybe it's on grass, so it's less easy.  Definitely it helped me today, especially when I had to serve at 5-4 in the third, because I had to do it already in Dubai at 5???4 in the second set.  I tried to stay calm as I did in Dubai and just to remain focused, focused on the simple things.

Well, it's amazing because beating Serena two times in a row, it doesn't happen very often, so I'm glad.

Q.  Did you employ the same tactics?

ALIZE CORNET:  Yeah, I tried to.  But it's a different surface so I had to adapt some things.  I definitely tried to use the same tactic.

Q.  You said right now you wanted to play simply.  What does that mean for you?

ALIZE CORNET:  Actually being myself.  Just being creative on the court, doing some dropshots, doing some variation with my topspin forehand.  Trying to stay focused on the way I was moving on the court, I think it's very important against Serena.  Putting my first serve in.

All these kind of things help me on the court to stay calm and know where I'm going actually, because otherwise Serena, she wouldn't lose a single chance to make you feel that she is the boss on the court.

I'm happy that I could hold it till the end.

Q.  What are your thoughts on the keys to your next match?

ALIZE CORNET:  Oh, I don't think about the next match yet.  Sorry, guys.  I want to enjoy my victory for tonight.  I know the next one is going to be very tough because Eugenie is playing amazing already since last year.  She's one of the top players of this season.

I will think about it tomorrow, think maybe about a different tactic to have against her.  But right now I really want to enjoy my win.

Q.  Serena said girls raise their game against her.  Did you go in today knowing you had to raise your game?

ALIZE CORNET:  I knew I had to play a good match to beat her.  But on the contrary, I cannot say that I played my best tennis today really.  In Dubai I did.  It was a perfect match.  I couldn't play better.

Today I was struggling a little bit with my forehand.  I was getting frustrating on my serve.  But, you know, I just fought with all my heart and I really tried to keep the tactic that I had in mind.

But for sure Serena, if you don't play a good level, you have no chance to beat her.  So definitely I had to play a good match.

Well, I don't know if she's right, but I'm just happy about the result.

Q.  Early in the third set you were both at net, and she hit a winner and she screamed loudly.  What did you think at that moment?

ALIZE CORNET:  I didn't see it 'cause I was focused on myself, as usual.  I heard her scream really loud.  Then the crowd was like, Boo.  They took it a little bit aggressively, I think.  She was just trying to support herself, I think.  She was in a tough moment.  She wanted to win.  She just tried to help herself as she could.

I didn't pay attention about that.  We all have our own ways to support ourselves.  After that she was not aggressive at all against me.  So that's it.

Q.  How often do you kiss the court after a match?

ALIZE CORNET:  It was the first time in my life actually.  I think it's very symbolic because it means now I love you grass and I didn't before (laughter).

Yeah, it's the best victory for me in slam.  Finally I got this second win that I was looking for since two years.  I did a lot of third rounds.  I was really looking for this second week, now I have it.  It deserved a kiss, I think.

Q.  Many players have admitted to feeling intimidated by Serena.  You clearly aren't in any way, shape, or form intimidated by her.  Were you ever intimidated by her?  Why do you think the intimidation factor isn't so strong anymore?

ALIZE CORNET:  Actually, I think I'm not intimidated by anyone.  I try not to focus too much on who I have on the other side of the net because it's the best way to lose your way, to lose the way you have to play, actually to lose your concentration.

Of course, she's very impressive.  If you are focused on her career, on what she did, the champion she is, wow, then you feel like you're nothing on the court.  So it's better just to focus on what I have to do.

I played against her a lot of times before and it was always tight matches.  I think maybe she doesn't like so much the way I'm playing.  I'm pretty creative on the court, doing some different things.  Maybe she doesn't like it.

But I have the chance to be a very good returner, so I could return her serve.  I think that's the key because she is serving really, really well.

Q.  What is it about your game that makes you bring your best against the best players?  You've played seven matches against Americans this year, and you lost to players lower ranked.  Doesn't make sense.

ALIZE CORNET:  I beat only the best Americans?

Q.  Yes.

ALIZE CORNET:  Weird.  Well, I don't know how to say.  I don't know if it's a question of nationality, like American or not American.  I think I played against some young, talented Americans.

Maybe, you know, the game of Serena doesn't bother me so much.  Maybe it's one of the reason why I can beat her twice in a row.

But, you know, I think there's just no question about all that.  I don't know.

Q.  You said kissing the grass was new.  What are some of your regular superstitions before and during a match?

ALIZE CORNET:  I don't have superstitions.  I'm celebrating always in a different way my victories.  Before the match I have simple things really.  I'm just thinking about my match, just trying to stay focused.

I don't have any superstition.  Maybe I should have more.  Maybe I should have more rituals or something.

But I'm like this.  I just take the things simply.  I think that's the word that qualify myself the best possible, someone simple.

Q.  Earlier this week Benoit Paire told the press that he hates the grass, he hates Wimbledon, he wants to go home, he's happy he lost.  You're talking about how much you love it.  Is this the most mental surface in tennis, grass?

ALIZE CORNET:  Maybe, yeah, because you have to convince yourself that you like it to actually play good on it.  I understand that he could be really frustrated about it because when you cannot play on grass, you really cannot play.  You feel like you have no feeling, like you don't know how to run, how to hit a ball, hit a winner.  It's terrible.  I think that's why it's the most mental surface definitely.

Maybe one day he will find the key to actually like it and then you take so much pleasure actually to play on it.  It's either here or completely down, so you have to choose.  I think I definitely choose my way.

 


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