France’s Alize Cornet sent out a warning on Saturday — broadly to the rest of the WTA tour, but most specifically to world No. 2 Simona Halep.
Cornet on Saturday crushed Genie Bouchard, the former heir apparent to Maria Sharapova’s win-some-but-rake-in-the-sponsors image empire, by a 6-1, 6-2 scoreline to win the Hobart International title.
“I was very focused for the whole tournament and the whole match today, and now I can let go,” Cornet said after the match. “To start the year this way, it’s the best.”
Where does Halep enter the equation? The world No. 2 has been suffering through an Achilles injury of late, and if she makes it through her first round next week at the Australian Open, she will likely next face the upset-minded Cornet.
For Bouchard, who had a disastrous 2015 campaign which included suing the US Open after a slip and fall in the locker room, it was her first trip to a final since the 2014 Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.
Cornet had lost her last two meetings with the Canadian, but this time it was a rout, including the Frenchwoman breaking serve seven times.
“Each time we’ve played against each other, it was a tough battle and at least two hours, three sets or two tight sets,” Cornet said. “I was patient, trying to be aggressive but trying to play the right shot at the right time. It’s just great to have an easy final like this because finals are already so emotional.”
Bouchard will also be make-or-break early in Melbourne as she will likely meet No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round.
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