"I was really focused on my match but I could tell [Garbiñe] was not playing like usual," Cornet said in her post-match interview. "She was not running or hitting the ball as well as usual. But I was just trying to stay focused on what I had to do."
The No.4-seeded Spaniard looked off from the start, her usually powerful groundstrokes lacking their bite. She struggled to hold serve in the opening game under Cornet's all-court assault, fending off two break points.
But Muguruza was broken in her very next service game after a string of long rallies which saw her struggle to hit through the ball, and finally retired trailing Cornet 1-4, citing a right thigh injury.
? WTA (@WTA) January 6, 2017
"Of course, it's not the way I wanted to get to the final but it's part of the game," Cornet explained. "We understand sometimes we have some physical issues. Tennis is more and more tough on the body.
"But well, it's good for me because I will have a little bit of rest before the big final tomorrow."
Aside from securing a spot into her second career Premier-level final, the win guarantees Cornet a seed at the Australian Open. The Frenchwoman's ranking will rise as high as No.31 by virtue of reaching the final, and could go as high as No.26 should she take home the title.