It’s a bitter end for French women’s tennis and for Alizé Cornet. Injured to the adductors, the Niçoise had to give up during her third round at Roland-Garros, Saturday May 28, when she was down 6-0, 3-0.
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There is now no French present in the table in the tournament, after the eliminations of Diane Parry on Friday, and Léolia Jeanjean a little earlier on Saturday. Qinwen Zheng will face world No. 1 and heavy seed Iga Swiatek in the round of 16.
The outcome is hard for the 32-year-old Frenchwoman, who arrived strapped on the court on Saturday, after feeling discomfort in her adductors on the sidelines of her match against Jelena Ostapenko in the second round. Too diminished, far from the level displayed during her first two outings on clay in Paris, Alizé Cornet came under pressure from her opponent from the start of the match. Broken from the start, she was never able to influence the exchanges, and let the first set slip away without registering the slightest game, in just over half an hour (6-0).
The second set started at the same tempo, Zheng breaking from the start, taking over a completely outdated Cornet. After calling on the healer for the first time at the start of the round, the Frenchwoman ended up throwing in the towel, 3-0, after 44 minutes of play. “I couldn’t move around the court, I already knew that before returning. Afterwards I tried, because it’s my nature, to try my luck until the end, but maybe I would have had to not enter the court and not take the risk of aggravating”she explained at a press conference.
If the public had been behind her, during her first two games, they were particularly hard on the Habs after her retirement. Unjustified whistles have indeed accompanied the kind of Alizé Cornet. “It makes me hallucinate. It hurt me almost more than the injury itself”reacted the person concerned, who “do not know” whether she will return to Roland-Garros next year.
For her part, before the premature end of the match, Qinwen Zheng, who was contesting her first Roland-Garros, had been able to press where it was needed to thwart Cornet. Faced with the difficulties of moving the Frenchwoman, she had notably multiplied the amortizations (10 in total). At 19, she qualified for the round of 16 of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her young career.