When Simona Halep faced Alize Cornet in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Monday, the Romanian revealed that she was close to quitting the tournament.
Cornet defeated the world No.15 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in sweltering conditions at the Rod Laver Arena in the last-16 battle.
The temperature at Melbourne Park rose to 33 degrees Celsius, and both players felt the effects.
Speaking after the match, Halep admitted that the Frenchwoman was “too strong”.
Halep added that she is grateful she stepped on the court without an injury. However, she felt dizzy due to the high temperatures in Melbourne on Monday.
“I have no injury, this is good. Only the heat got me actually early in the first set. I felt sick, felt a little bit dizzy. It’s tough to play in the heat, and I was not ready today. She was a little bit stronger, and that’s why she could win the match,” Halep said.
The two-time Grand Slam champion, who was sidelined due to injury for several months in 2021 said she was close to giving up. The heat and exhaustion were too much for her.
Although Cornet thrashed her in three sets, Halep says that she fought for every hit she made on the court. However, her confidence was all gone.
The Romanian is content with her game in Australia after battling injury in 2021.
In October last year, the double Grand Slam winner said she was not retiring any time soon nor is she tired of playing tennis.
This followed a calf injury that kept her out of the court until then when she returned to the Transylvanian Open in Romania.
Her return was evidence that she was on the path to a comeback with nothing but an intention to reclaim her top seat.
“I’m still motivated and still love tennis,” she told Tennis 365.
Rumours of her retirement were fuelled further by news of her engagement to Toni Iuruc who she has been dating for years.
“Many people were talking about that, but I never said I would stop playing after the wedding party,” Tennis.com reports.
“I’m still motivated and still love tennis. My husband is next to me all the time, and I’m happy to stay on the court, and play matches.”
Cornet is the quarter-finalist in the singles of a Grand Slam. She beat Hale in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
Before this year’s hard-court Grand Slam, Cornet had only reached the fourth round of a major once since 2005.
Halep and Cornet both had five break points in the first set, with Cornet coming out on front 3-2, but the roles were flipped in the second set, with Halep coming out on top 4-2.
The last set, on the other hand, saw only one break of serve and the most important game was game seven. Two match point chances in game nine were missed before game 10, which was won on the third attempt by the 32-year-old veteran.
The Frenchwoman said that the heat was unbearable for the first 30 minutes of the game but still played for two more hours.
She says that she admires Halep’s game because it was great.
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