“I’m in the paradise of tennis and I manage to be mega stressed” Alize Cornet reveals the effect of Ukraine’s war on her; talks of her bond with Leylah Fernandez

Alize Cornet opens up on her mental health amidst the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. The Frenchwoman also talks about her bond with Leylah Fernandez.

Alize Cornet
Alize Cornet

World No. 34 Alize Cornet was the 33rd seed at the 2022 Indian Wells Open and having received a bye in the first round, she was defeated in 3-sets by Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya who is currently playing as a neutral athlete. In a tough match, Kalinskaya won the match 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 with Cornet failing to take advantage of her comeback in the second set where she dropped a bagel.

Cornet had surprised everyone with her run at the 2022 Australian Open where she reached the quarter-finals and a similar or better run was expected from the French player this week in the Californian desert but things did not turn out in her favour as she crashed out of the tournament in the second round, her first match.

“It really makes me sweat to put myself in such a state on the court, to be so stressed when in Ukraine there is a war, that civilians are dying every day, that people are fleeing the country in complete panic. Me, I live the dream of my life in the paradise of tennis and I manage to be mega stressed.

“It is the conscious and the unconscious which returns the ball, which fights in my head. It’s been two, three weeks that the irrational side prevails. No matter how much I tell myself that there are more serious things in life, I still have the little problems that catch up with me. It is very frustrating,” said Cornet speaking with L’Equipe after her defeat to Anna having sported a ribbon with Ukraine’s flag colours on her outfit.

Alize Cornet into the Round of 16 in the Doubles event partnering Leylah Fernandez

Leylah Fernandez and Alize Cornet
Leylah Fernandez and Alize Cornet

Despite an early exit in the Singles, Cornet is into the Round of 16 of the Doubles event having paired up with Canadian youngster Leylah Fernandez. The French-Canadian pair earlier defeated the 2nd seeded pair of Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai winning a nail-biting 3-set match that saw the second and third set going into a tiebreaker.

“It made me very happy (Leylah remembering Alize helping her when she started). When she arrived on the circuit, she was very shy. There, she is much more fulfilled. It’s like a flower that has bloomed. At first, she was a little withdrawn, she didn’t talk too much. I arrived with my big clogs, I put her at ease right away. I did what I would have liked to be done with me when I arrived. No player had come to see me. Leylah touched me. She has beautiful values, she is very cute, very kind. 

“I’m glad she remembers that I was there in the beginning before she was the big star she is now, and that I welcomed her with open arms. On the circuit, it’s important to help each other, especially with the little youngsters arriving. She has her head on her shoulders, it is not at all-sufficient. It’s so cool to have this spirit of transmission. That she keeps this memory of me is a great reward,” said Cornet speaking about Leylah ahead of their doubles clash with the pair of Vera Zvonareva and Laura Siegemund.

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