PERTH: French tennis star Alize Cornet honoured her 12 countrymen killed in the attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris during her win over Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska at the Hopman Cup on Friday.
Cornet, ranked 18th in the world, said she had notched up what she believed was one of the best wins of her career over the fifth-ranked Radwanska, prevailing in a marathon third set in Perth, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes.
The deciding set lasted 73 minutes, as both players had several chances to take control, but it was Cornet that prevailed with a forehand winner despite serving nine double faults during the match.
Cornet said the match was ‘for sure one of those I've played the best on court, I think the level was very high from the beginning to the end’.
She came onto the court with ‘Je Suis Charlie’ [both ‘I am Charlie’ and ‘I follow Charlie’] on a handwritten note on her bag, having tweeted the same message just hours after the attack on Wednesday.
Cornet, who looked emotional as she sang along to the French national anthem before the match, looked at the message at each change of ends and pointed to it at the conclusion of the match.
Speaking after the win, the 24-year-old said she had been deeply affected by the tragedy at home. "I was horrified, I was so shocked and very emotional about it," she said, describing the victims as ‘people you know so well, you have the feeling they are part of your family’.
The deaths touched ‘the whole of humanity’, she said.
Despite Cornet's win, France has not made it to the final of the competition, which will see Poland face off against the US on Saturday.
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