Portugal Colonial - 'Need to be so strong': Cornet has new respect for Slam champions

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'Need to be so strong': Cornet has new respect for Slam champions
'Need to be so strong': Cornet has new respect for Slam champions

'Need to be so strong': Cornet has new respect for Slam champions

Alize Cornet said she has "eternal respect" for Grand Slam champions after her Australian Open exit Wednesday -- and now knows just how hard it is to win seven matches in two weeks to lift a major.

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The French veteran made her first quarter-final in her 63rd Grand Slam tournament appearance and admitted her Melbourne Park run had left her mentally and physically exhausted.

While only playing five matches, instead of a winners' seven, the 32-year-old said it left her in awe of those that go all the way.

"The first thought that comes to my mind right now is that I have eternal respect for the Grand Slam winner because it's such a long way," she said after losing 7-5, 6-1 to American Danielle Collins.

"My God, I have the feeling I'm playing this tournament for a year.

"I'm so exhausted mentally, physically.

"When you go all the way and win these freaking seven matches, it's just huge.

"I respected the Grand Slam winner before, but now even more because I only did half of the way, a little bit more than half.

"It seemed to me like, oh my God, you need to be so strong on every aspect to go to the end."

Cornet had beaten former world number one Simona Halep 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a energy-sapping 2hr 33min in brutal heat to make the last eight which took its toll.

But just getting to the last eight was an achievement and the popular Frenchwoman said she had been overwhelmed by the messages of support.

"It was amazing to receive all this love. Not only from my family, my friends, but also from other players in the locker room, by text," she said.

"It felt amazing to see that people were actually really happy for me.

"Of course, on the social media, I saw that my story was touching people."

L.Mesquita--PC