Romania’s Simona Halep, one of title favorites, is out of the 2022 Australian Open, losing 6-4 3-6 6-4 to France’s Alize Cornet in the fourth round.
The 2018 Australian Open finalist Halep, seeded 14th this fortnight, had won all eight of her previous matches this season and dropped just 12 games en route to the round of 16 at Melbourne Park.
The world No.61 Cornet is through to her first Grand Slam quarterfinals, making her 63rd main-draw appearance at a major. Previously, Tamarine Tanasugarn had held the record for most appearances before reaching a quarterfinal at this level, having achieved the feat on her 45th at 2008 Wimbledon.
In the first set, Halep twice recovered from a break down, but Cornet confidently recorded her third break to claim the set. The two-time Grand Slam champion Halep won five straight games from 3-1 down to win the second set, while in the third set, one break, in the decisive seventh game, was enough to lead Cornet to her biggest career achievement.
In the quarterfinals, Cornet will face American Daniella Collins, who made a Grand Slam breakthrough at the 2019 Australian Open when she advanced to the semifinals. The 27th-seeded Collins came from a set down to defeat No.19 seed Elise Mertens in the fourth round on Monday.