Cornet channels Bartoli inspiration
Alize Cornet is taking inspiration from Marion Bartoli's Wimbledon "miracle" as she attempts to capitalise on a spellbinding victory over five-time champion Serena Williams.
With Bartoli deciding to retire within weeks of holding aloft the Venus Rosewater Dish last July, and teenage prospect Caroline Garcia tumbling out on Saturday, Cornet is France's last representative in the women's singles going into the second week.
The 24-year-old from Nice survived to reach the fourth round in extraordinary fashion, bustling her way to victory over world number one Williams in three sets to earn a Centre Court shot on Monday at this year's big break-out star of the women's tour, Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.
Bartoli said on the eve of this year's tournament it was miraculous that she had won Wimbledon with an injured shoulder and her best days apparently behind her.
While Cornet may be only coming into her prime now, she never expected to be the focus of attention at the grass-court grand slam, not least because until last year she was averse to the surface.
Now she hopes a little of the good fortune that allowed Bartoli to cap her career in glory can rub off on her.
"What better way than to beat Serena and get through to the second week," Cornet said. "My first appearance in the last 16 of a grand slam, at the Australian Open (in 2009), feels a thousand years ago.
"I am super happy but my tournament isn't over. If I could have the same destiny as Marion last year, I'd sign for it straight away."
Bartoli is on site if Cornet needs any advice, but against Williams she appeared to be in precisely the right mindset, ignoring the reputation of the player across the net.
It is no secret that Cornet can get emotional on court. Sometimes it helps, such as when a scream of frustration in her second-round match against Petra Cetkovska was followed by a surge to victory.
She likes to be seen as an uncomplicated soul, though, and after kissing the grass on clinching the biggest win of her life she stressed the point.
"I don't have superstitions. I always celebrate my victories in different ways. Maybe I should have more rituals or something," she said.
"But I'm like this. I just take things simply."
Bouchard knows Cornet's morale can fluctuate, and the 20-year-old from Montreal, who has already reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open and French Open this year, will ignore any histrionics as she targets another run deep into a grand slam draw.
"I'm not going to worry about her stuff on her side. I'm going to focus on me. I think tennis is very mental," Bouchard said.
"I wouldn't consider myself deep into Wimbledon at this stage. I'm into the second week, which is great, but I want to go so much further."
Their match opens Centre Court on Monday, and another highlight may follow in the third match on Court One.
Immediately after her boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov tackles Leonardo Mayer, it will fall to Maria Sharapova to show why many expect her to lift the trophy.
Sharapova was seeded to tackle Williams in the quarter-finals, but will tackle Angelique Kerber for the right to instead take on Cornet or Bouchard in the last eight.
Fresh from winning her second French Open, Sharapova is also targeting Wimbledon triumph number two, a decade after landing her first at the age of 17 and 12 months after losing in the second round to qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito.
"I'm quite happy with the way I've gone about things so far," said Sharapova, who beat American Alison Riske in round three.
"I'm happy I've gone further than last year, erasing those memories and trying to form new ones."