Alizé Cornet scored her first win of 2017 in dramatic fashion, coming back from the brink of defeat to upset No.7 seed Elena Vesnina at the Brisbane International.
WTA Staff

BRISBANE, Australia - Alizé Cornet scored her first win of 2017 in dramatic fashion, coming back the brink of defeat to upset Elena Vesnina at the Brisbane International.

The No.7 seeded Russian, who enjoyed her first Top 20 season last year, got a rude awakening in the New Year in the form of a determined Cornet, who was two games away from defeat before mounting her comeback to advance 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).

"It feels really great to win the first match of 2017, on the first of January, after a thriller match against Elena," Cornet said after the victory.

"It was the worst scenario ever, 7-6 in the third, almost three hours of match. It was a big fight and I'm happy I'm through. I feel ready for the rest of the tournament."

Vesnina took advantage of a shaky start from the Frenchwoman to build her momentum early on, quickly taking the opening set and building up a daunting 4-1 lead in the second. But the match turned on a dime as Cornet put the pressure on, drawing out the unforced errors from Vesnina's racquet and rattling off five straight games to level the match.

With the heat rule in effect, the pair were back on court for a tense final set, staying even blow for blow and heading into a tiebreak. After two hours and thirty-seven minutes, an ill-timed drop shot from Vesnina - on her 65 unforced errors - didn't make it over the net and gave Cornet match point and sent her into the second round.

Up next for Cornet is Christina McHale, who had a smoother road into the second round after cruising past Sara Errani in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.

"First I have to think about recovering from this match, that's the most important," Cornet said. "Then I can think about the second round.

"I play against McHale, who is a very good player and had an easy first round win. I'm expecting a tough battle, but you know, this match really got me in the rhythm! I'm just ready to keep going."