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Sports

Cornet sends halep home

Agence France-Presse

MELBOURNE, Australia – Title favorite Daniil Medvedev was pushed to the limit by Maxime Cressy before reaching the Last 8 of the Australian Open on Monday as French veteran Alize Cornet made the quarterfinals of a Slam for the first time in her long career.

It took the tetchy Russian world No. 2 three hours 30 minutes to subdue the unseeded American serve-volley specialist Cressy, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 6-7 (4/7), 7-5 to set up a quarterfinal against Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime.

“It was long and it was not easy, the scoreline apart from the first set were all tough sets,” said Medvedev, who clashed with the umpire and complained of his bad luck during the most severe examination of his title credentials so far.

“If I didn’t win the fourth set I would have been in a tough mental shape,” he admitted.

Earlier, Cornet ended her Last-16 hoodoo in her 63rd Slam and will now face Danielle Collins for a place in the semifinal.

The French veteran, who made her major debut in 2005 and turned 32 on Saturday, had reached the fourth round on five previous occasions, losing them all.

But she ended that run by upsetting former world No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, in energy-sapping heat on Rod Laver Arena.

“It feels amazing. That battle I had with Simona today and the heat,” said Cornet, who knocked out world No. 3 Garbine Muguruza in round two.

“After 30 minutes we were both dying and we kept going for two-and-a-half hours.”

Collins had an even longer battle, the American outlasting Elise Mertens of Belgium, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Aryna Sabalenka will round off the evening and stay on course for a first major if she can get past unseeded veteran Kaia Kanepi of Estonia.

The reward for the winner will be a quarterfinal against seventh seed Iga Swiatek of Poland or Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

Men’s ninth seed Auger-Aliassime overcame the 2018 Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic, 2-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4).

He joins Denis Shapovalov in the last eight to make it the first time two Canadian men have reached that stage at the Australian Open, and will now face Medvedev.

“It’s amazing. It puts my belief even higher, I lost three times to Marin in the past, this is my first win against him and in an important moment like this,” the Canadian said.

“I told him at the end of the match he’s a champion, the way he handles himself and the way he plays.”

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

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