Cornet to play Pliskova in Brisbane final
06 Jan 2017 - 21:59
Brisbane: Alize Cornet reached her biggest final in over two years after an "exhausted" Garbine Muguruza withdrew from their semi-final of the Brisbane International yesterday.
The unseeded Frenchwoman was leading her Spanish opponent 4-1 in the first set when Muguruza decided she couldn't continue.
Although the official reason was a right thigh injury, the fourth seeded Spaniard, who had spent over seven hours on court in her first three rounds, conceded later that she was physically spent.
"I just felt, like, a little bit exhausted on the court, and I have been dealing, you know, with tiredness and issues with all these hard matches I have been playing, and today I was far from 100 percent," she said.
Cornet will now play third seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova in the final, the first time the 26-year-old from Nice has reached the decider of a Premier Level tournament since she lost to Venus Williams in Dubai in 2014, after having beaten Serena in the semi-finals.
A delighted Cornet said Muguruza's withdrawal had been the perfect result.
Cornet went into the tournament ranked 41st in the world, but will now climb to 31.
She could go as high as 26 if she wins Saturday's final.
The 26-year-old said earlier in the week she wanted to be more consistent this year and enjoy her tennis.
After winning her semi-final she signed "Vive la Vie" on the television as a dedication to former French Fed Cup physio Patrick Bordier, who died of a heart attack while working at the Rio Olympics.
Pliskova, who was runner-up at the 2016 US Open, reached the final in impressive style when she beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-2, 6-4 in the second semi. The tall Czech used her booming serve and powerful groundstrokes to great effect in the 64-minute victory.