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Alizé in wonderland

Rédaction Open GDF SUEZ
Thursday, 12 February 2009 at 16:28
After a first one-way set favouring Daniela Hantuchova, Alizé Cornet managed to turn the tables and qualify for the quarterfinals of the 17th Open GDF SUEZ. French N° 1 seed stood out 1-6, 6-4, and 6-3 at the end of a sensational 1h 45 duel.  

Day 4 of the Open GDF SUEZ 2009 began this Thursday with the long-awaited clash between Alizé Cornet (13th) and Daniela Hantuchova (39th). The beginning of their 5th encounter was quite lonely for the Slovakian. The former N° 5 seed, who fell in the ranking after a foot injury last year got off to a good start. Very aggressive, she flew over the first set which she carried away 6-1 in 24 minutes.

Pierre Bouteyre, Cornet's coach, comforted his protégé at the break, and it paid off! On the defensive, Alizé hung on tight. And for the first time in the match, she grabbed her adversary's serve to lead 2-0. Maybe she just needed a set to take a lead, like in the Australian Open when she broke the Slovakian's serve twice before leading 4-0.   The end of the set was almost disastrous. The French N° 1 gave away one of her two breaks and even missed three equalizers with one set all over at 5-3. Worse, on a wrong foot, she heavily fell on her left hand. But it wasn't as bad as it looked for Alizé, who managed to conclude this second 6-4 on Hantuchova's serve.

In the third and last set, Cornet paid back the Sloviakan with her own dose of aggression. Stealing 12 of the 14 points from the former World N°5, the Frenchwoman was flying towards her first Coubertin quarterfinal by standing out 5-1 before her serve. The Nice native gave herself a scare by giving away one of her two breaks but finished the job after 1h44 of superb playing which allowed her to turn around a sticky situation (1-6, 6-4, 6-2). Friday, to attempt to reach the last four of the Open GDF SUEZ 2009, she'll have to make a new achievement against the winner of the encounter between Serbian Jelena Jankovic (n°2) and Chinese Na Li. Two opponents she hasn't yet beaten.

Clément Lizet
Translation: Amy Davenport

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