As the top French seed in the women’s draw, Alize Cornet was faced with the difficult task dealing with loft expectations to advance her campaign in Paris. After a successful start on Philippe Chatrier court on Sunday, Cornet will now meet American wildcard Taylor Townsend in the second round of the tournament.
The world No. 21 stormed to a 4-0 lead against her talented Australian opponent Ashleigh Barty, and maintained that lead and control of the match for its entirety. She would finish with a score of 6-2, 6-1 in under an hour. While Cornet was playing some strong tennis, her win was eased along with the help of her opponent’s rapidly increasing unforced errors.
“The French crowd was great today,” Cornet said. “I think that with every year the crowd gets nicer and nicer with me. And I think, you know, you just have to try to encourage them to get behind you by just fighting on every point and just giving them some emotion.
“Today was not a really tight match, but I felt like the crowd was always behind me and it felt really good. I think the French crowd is a tough one, but when you have it with you, it’s unbelievable. When you play on such a big court as Philippe Chatrier, it can give you wings.“
Next for Cornet is young American Taylor Townsend, who won a tournament in the US to earn her wildcard entry into the French Open. She began her week with a victory over Vania King, where she rallied from 5-1 down to win 7-5, 6-1.
This is the first time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. It is an interesting contest, and while Cornet will likely be a significant favorite, her lose would be far from the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Townsend has proven to be a tough competitor with a growing skillset.
Prediction: Alize Cornet in Three Sets