Australian Open 2022: The must-watch Alize Cornet interview and moody Daniil Medvedev – AO Diary
Alize Cornet finally burst through the fourth-round barrier that has haunted her at Grand Slams to set up a quarter-final showdown with Danielle Collins at the Australian Open. Meanwhile Daniil Medvedev was far less composed than his previous outings, but still progressed, while Kaia Kanepi had to win a match twice. Sort of. It’s Reem Abulleil’s diary from Day 8 in Melbourne.
'It is never too late to try again' - Cornet gives emotional interview after beating Halep
Competing in a record 60th consecutive Grand Slam main draw, and a 63rd major overall, the 32-year-old Cornet let all her emotions out as she secured her spot in the last eight and gave a heartfelt on-court interview with retired Australian player Jelena Dokic.
Thirteen years ago, Cornet held match points against Dinara Safina before losing to the Russian in the Australian Open fourth round. Had she won that match, she would have faced Dokic in the quarter-finals.
The full circle moment was not lost on Cornet, who wouldn’t end her interview before paying tribute to Dokic, who endured some harrowing abuse from her father during her career and has managed to come out stronger on the other side.
“I want to tell you something, how you moved on in your life, I think we can all congratulate you, because you were an amazing player and now you’re an amazing commentator, so bravo, Jelena,” Cornet told Dokic on court before they shared a warm embrace.
Instead of basking in her triumphant moment by herself, Cornet chose to share it with Dokic and provided one of the most touching exchanges we’ve witnessed so far this fortnight.
Alize Cornet and Jelena Dokic
Image credit: Getty Images
Cranky Medvedev has a bad case of the Mondays
“This is boring,” bellowed No. 2 seed Daniil Medvedev early in the fourth set of his last-16 encounter with serve-and-volley master Maxime Cressy on Monday.
The Russian was frustrated by how efficient Cressy was on serve and at the net and started to lose it on court.
At 2-2 in the fourth, Cressy painted the line with a second serve which prompted Medvedev to go on another rant.
“It’s simply unbelievable how lucky he is. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” yelled out the US Open champion. At 5-5, Medvedev’s outbursts continued as he lamented “the most unluckiest day I’ve ever had in my life”.
'I need to change, it's impossible!' - Watch Medvedev rant at umpire, opponent, official
As the highest seed in the draw and the winner of the most recent Grand Slam, Medvedev explained he wasn’t happy to be scheduled on Margaret Court Arena instead of Centre Court.
“I was quite mad today because of a few things. To be honest, I'm working on myself, and that's why I managed to win and still kept my composure, as much as I could, because sometimes I go much more crazier than I did today,” confessed Medvedev, who next takes on Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarters.
“I really don't know, like, what should I do to play on centre courts in Grand Slams, because I won the last Grand Slam. I'm highest seed here, and to play against Maxime would be easier on Rod Laver, more space.
“When you play on a smaller court it's tougher to play somebody who does serve and volley than on a bigger court. It's like same in Wimbledon, I haven't even played on Centre, because I don't count the fifth set which I played after the rain, after being put on Court 2.”
Medvedev was also angry about the disagreement he had with the umpire regarding toilet breaks and apologised to Cressy for all of his outbursts, after admitting some of his antics were aimed at throwing the American off his game.
“I was annoyed with the day, let’s say it like this,” said Medvedev.
Is there anyone working harder than Danielle Collins at this Australian Open? Between singles and doubles, the American has spent 11 hours and 50 minutes on court competing so far this fortnight, and she’s not done yet.
Collins’ Monday was particularly brutal. After battling in scorching Melbourne heat for two hours and 51 minutes to overcome Elise Mertens and book herself a spot in the singles quarter-finals, Collins returned to the match court shortly after and spent another hour and a half competing alongside her doubles partner Desirae Krawczyk in a 6-4 6-4 third-round defeat to top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
Nearly eight hours in singles and four hours in doubles, here’s hoping Collins has enough left in her for her upcoming showdown with French veteran Alize Cornet in the last eight.
Highlights: Collins battles back against Mertens to reach quarters
Are we done yet?
Another day, another moment of confusion over the tiebreak rules at the Australian Open.
Nerves were already at an all-time high late in the third set of the boom-boom fourth-round clash between Kaia Kanepi and No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka on Monday.
Sabalenka had saved four match points to break Kanepi as she was serving for the victory at 5-4 in the third and the duel fittingly went to a deciding tiebreak.
Each of the four Grand Slams has a different rule in place for how final sets are decided and the Australian Open is the only major that has a first-to-10-points tiebreak played should a deciding set get to 6-6 – a fact that very often is forgotten by the players, especially in the heat of competition.
‘Oh no!’ – The awkward moment Kanepi thought she had knocked out Sabalenka but hadn’t
In an intense final-set tiebreak, Kanepi thought she won the match at 9-7 before realising she still had one more point to win. Luckily that pre-mature celebration did not throw her off as she wrapped up the win shortly after.
At 36 years old, Kanepi has now completed the full set of Grand Slam quarter-finals, having made at least one quarter-final at each of the four majors.
“Australian Open was the only quarter-final Grand Slam that I’m missing and at my age I didn’t actually believe I will do it. I’m really happy,” said Kanepi on court.
Acrobatic move of the day
The doubles court always delivers some wild moments and this showcase of athleticism from Joe Salisbury in his straight-sets third-round win alongside Rajeev Ram was special.
Quotes of the day
For me, a week without crying is not a week. I cry when I lose; I cry when I win.
-- An emotional Iga Swiatek talks after her hard-fought three-set win over Sorana Cirstea
That's who I am. I mean, I can't hide my true nature. If I'm a drama queen for the people, then I am.
-- A smiling Cornet embraces her inner drama queen ahead of what she believes will be a drama-filled quarter-final against Collins.
Stats of the day
By reaching her first Grand Slam quarter-final on her 63rd main draw appearance at a major, Cornet has broken the Open Era record for most Slams played – by a man or woman – before making a maiden quarter-final.
Collins hit 45 winners in her fourth-round win over Mertens and was an impressive 13/17 at the net.
There are three American women in the Australian Open quarter-finals for the second year in a row.
Cressy bowed out of the Australian Open fourth round on Monday as the ace leader for the tournament, having struck 95 aces through four matches. The American played a total of 410 serve-and-volley points this fortnight, and was successful in 73 percent of them.
With his win over Cressy, Medvedev has now reached six Grand Slam quarter-finals, equalling Mikhail Youzhny in fifth place on the Open Era list for most major quarter-final appearances made by a Russian man.
With his victory against Marin Cilic on Monday, Felix Auger-Aliassime joined his compatriot Denis Shapovalov in the last eight, making it the first time that multiple Canadian men have reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is through to the Australian Open quarter-finals for a third time in just five appearances overall.
With Jannik Sinner joining his countryman Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals, this is just the second time in the Open Era – and fifth time in history – that two Italian men have reached the quarter-finals at the same Grand Slam.