Schiavone Overpowers Cornet In Katowice

  • Posted: Jan 01, 1970

KATOWICE, Poland – Francesca Schiavone is into her second quarterfinal of the year with a straight sets win over Alizé Cornet at the Katowice Open, 7-5(6), 6-1.

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Although her ranking has dipped to just outside the Top 100, Schiavone, a WTA veteran, won her seventh career title earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro. In Katowice, she was up against Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet, who was making her way back to the tour after a two-month injury layoff.

Despite Cornet’s inspired performance in the previous round – she had to battle through a tough three-set challenge from Bulgarian qualifier Isabella Shinikova – the Frenchwoman couldn’t make it past one of her toughest rivals. Schiavone’s mastery of the angles kept confounding and wrong-footing Cornet, the same way she has done to win nine of their previous 11 encounters.

The two played a tortuous and highly competitive first set, which saw Cornet break Schiavone while the Italian was serving for the set at 5-4 then go on to send it to a tiebreak. A couple of Cornet’s double faults gave Schiavone the edge, and she grabbed the first set after an hour and 10 minutes.

The second set was more one-way traffic for the Italian, despite Cornet throwing everything she had at her opponent. A line-to-line rally at 2-0, 40-30 left both players out of breath and laughing, even going up to shake hands at the net. Schiavone quickly closed out the set 7-5(6), 6-1.

“It was a really tough match, a close match, in the first set,” Schiavone said. “Then I managed to win the tie-break playing aggressive – I took my chances.

“The match was really in the balance until then, but in the second set I think [her level] went a little bit down and mine went up.”

Joining Schiavone in the Katowice quarterfinals are No.7 seed Timea Babos and Polish favorite Magda Linette – who both fought their way back to victory after dropping the first set 1-6 – as well as Pauline Parmentier.

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