Alize Cornet reached her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal amid emotional scenes on another blistering day at the Australian Open.
The French star joined Danielle Collins in the final eight.
World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev has just dropped his second set in men’s singles, while Joe Salisbury made an amazing shot in doubles.
And the Peng Shuai controversy continues with Martina Navratilova slamming the organizers of the Australian Open.
Cornet cooks Halep in the heat
The world No. 61 reached her first last eight in a Major on her 63rd attempt — and her 60th consecutive Major for 16 years. “It’s never too late to try again,” she says.
Cornet survived losing six straight games 3-1 in the second set and won 6-4 3-6 6-4 as temperatures hit the mid-thirties at the Rod Laver Arena.
The 32-year-old, who fell to her knees after claiming her third match point and then cried into her towel, said: “It feels great. The battle I had with Simona – after 30 minutes they both died on the pitch. We both went through with all our hearts.
“I think after 30 minutes of playing I just stopped thinking. After 30 minutes my brain was already overloaded. My vision wasn’t clear, my hands were shaking. I thought she wouldn’t feel much better on the other side of the court than me.
“That’s why you play tennis. So that I can share all this emotion with you.”
Cornet will now meet Collins after number 27 knocked out number 19 seed Elise Mertens 4-6 6-4 6-4.
JUST IN: Novak Djokovic ‘animated’ by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer battle
Martina Navratilova claims “weak” Australian Open organizers acted “cowardly”
Tennis Australia defended security for ordering a fan to remove a T-sheet and banner in support of Peng Shuai. But images of the incident have sparked outrage worldwide. Frenchman Nicolas Mahut posted on social media: “What’s going on!?”
And 18-time Grand Slam winner Navratilova told the Tennis Channel: “I think it’s really, really cowardly. I think they’re wrong. This is not a political statement, this is a human rights statement.
“Tennis Australia is just really capitating on this issue… really letting the Chinese dictate what they do at their own Slam. I just think it’s very weak.”
A said in a statement: “Under our ticket terms and conditions, we do not allow clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political.”
History made in Melbourne
Iranian junior Meshkatolzahra Safi became the first player from her country to win a Grand Slam match – and also the first to compete in a hijab.
The 17-year-old wore long leggings and long sleeves along with her headscarf as she won 6-4, 6-3 in just under 90 minutes under the Melbourne sun against Anja Nayar
“I like the sun, but not so much,” said the junior world No. 74.
“But I’m used to this hijab and this covering. This is a part of me now because I played with this from the age of 9 until today, in all tours, in any weather, cold or warm. I’m used to it.
She added: “When I started my journey, everyone in Iran said, ‘This is impossible, playing Grand Slams is impossible, you can’t do that’, especially to my mother. So I didn’t tell my dream to anyone anymore, I just kept going.”