LAUSANNE, Switzerland - No.3 seed Alizé Cornet moved into her third quarterfinal of the year at the Ladies Open Lausanne, defeating qualifier Jasmine Paolini 6-1, 6-1 in just 54 minutes.
Although this is an inaugural event on the WTA Tour in 2019, the Frenchwoman is a defending champion of sorts, having lifted the trophy when the tournament was helpd 70km down the road in Gstaad. Cornet has picked up where she left off anyway, with her streak now at seven straight victories on Swiss soil without the loss of a set.
Today, the 29-year-old had too much consistency and variety of attack for an ultra-aggressive but error-strewn Paolini. The Italian World No.154 has been in good form of late, qualifying for her first Grand Slam at Roland Garros and following it up by winning the ITF W60 in Brescia, but ran into a brick wall today against the experienced Cornet.
Indeed, Paolini would only reach game point twice today - the two games she won, a break of serve in the first set and a hold in the second - and there would only be one deuce in the entire match. The 23-year-old opted for a high-risk baseline strategy, hitting low over the net and aiming for the lines - but despite a handful of winners that were all the more dazzling given her small stature, the percentages were ultimately not in her favour. A cascade of errors from both wings poured from Paolini's racquet as she struggled to sustain her execution in the face of impeccable baseline control from Cornet.
This freed the World No.48 up to show off her variety whenever she needed to assert even more control over the match, with her dropshots and net play both clicking smoothly. A delightful drop volley moved Cornet up 3-1 in the first set, and the final game saw her show off some brilliant reflex volleys on the way to breaking Paolini for the sixth and final time.
Next up for the Hobart semifinalist and Eastbourne quarterfinalist will be the unseeded 22-year-old Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva, who upset No.7 seed Daria Gavrilova 6-3, 6-2 to also reach her third quarterfinal of the year following Prague and 's-Hertogenbosch.