World No. 60 Alize Cornet defeated the second-seeded Sofia Kenin 6-1, 7-6 (7) in the Round of 32 at the Western and Southern Open 2020. Cornet won the first set comfortably by quickly racing to a 5-0 lead but was challenged in the second set.
“I’m a fighter,” Cornet said after the match. “I’m always fighting, so that’s nothing new, but tonight was tough because I was 6-1, 5-2 up with two match points. Somehow I let it go a little bit, and I got really tight, so I never thought I could win the set the way I did.”
Despite being two match points down in the second set, the Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin fought back and pushed the second set to a tiebreaker. The World No. 4 Kenin saved another match point in the second set tiebreaker. However, she eventually lost the match when she hit a wide backhand at (7-8) in the tiebreaker.
“It was a really tight second set, and in the tie-break, oh my God, I was just praying for the best on every single shot,” said Cornet during the post-match interview.
“I was more focused on my game and what I had to do. Until 5-2 in the second set, I was doing that perfectly and there was nothing to say. I wasn’t making a lot of unforced errors, running everywhere, making her play, and being aggressive when I could. It got less easy from there, but overall I was solid, playing my game, being intense with my legs,” remarked Cornet on the turn of events of the second set.
Former World No. 11 Alize Cornet now awaits either the two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka or Caroline Garcia. As the US Open 2020 begins next week, reaching the Round of 16 at Cincinnati is going to huge morale booster for the Frenchwoman.
Cornet’s victory against Sofia Kenin marks the end of the two-year hiatus since she last defeated a Top-5 player. In 2018, Alize had ousted former World No. 1, Angelique Kerber, at Montreal Masters.