LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- No.3 seed Alizé Cornet of France slid into the final four at the Ladies Open Lausanne on Friday after pulling off a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 comeback win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia.
"That was my best match so far of the tournament," Cornet said, after the match. "I played really well today. All credit to [Vikhlyantseva] in the first set, she was not missing anything, she was hitting very hard, and being very aggressive."
"What I like about this match is that I found a solution inside myself to turn this match back around, and in the end I got through in three sets playing really smart tennis," Cornet continued. "I’m very proud and happy."
Cornet, the de facto defending champion, having won the event last year when it was held in Gstaad, moves into her second semifinal of the season with her one-hour and 52-minute victory over World No.100 Vikhlyantseva.
"I don’t think about [the title defense] so much, I’m just trying to take it match by match, and every match for me is an opportunity to work on so many things: on my tennis, on my mentality, on my fitness condition," said Cornet. "I just take every match as a possibility to work. Then if I go to the end once more, I’ll be the happiest girl in the world, but I’m not thinking about that so much."
48th-ranked Cornet converted eight of 12 break points during her clash with Vikhlyantseva, and won nearly two-thirds of points on the Russian's second serve. Cornet had four double faults in the match, but Vikhlyantseva finished with seven.
"It was not easy, [Vikhlyantseva] is playing well," Cornet admitted. "I’m sure in the future she’s going to do amazing results."
Strong returns by Vikhlyantseva led her to the first service break of the match at 2-0, but that was just the start of five straight service breaks in the match as she and Cornet jockeyed for control through 4-2. It was the Russian who ended that run with a solid service hold to attain a commanding 5-2 lead.
Cornet struck back before the set ended, breaking Vikhlyantseva as she served for the set after the Russian shot a backhand into the net on break point. Vikhlyantseva, however, fired down-the-line winners to reach triple set point in the next game, and converted her first opportunity after another powerful forehand forced an error from Cornet.
Cornet, though, had little trouble leveling the match at one set apiece. The Frenchwoman broke Vikhlyantseva to start the second set, and she consolidated for 2-0 from 0-40 down, concluding that game with a deft dropshot winner.
Vikhlyantseva dropped serve from 40-15 up to hand Cornet a 4-1 lead, after the Russian netted a backhand on the second break point of the game. Cornet cruised through the set from there to clinch the 30-minute second stanza.
In the decider, Cornet saved a break point in the opening game before using tremendous defense to obtain a service break for 3-1. Nevertheless, Vikhlyantseva, who was receiving visits from the trainer during the changeovers in the final set, used powerful groundstrokes to get back on serve in the very next game.
But Cornet was undaunted, and won multiple points in the next game via her crosscourt backhand to once again go up a break and lead 4-2. That would be all that Cornet would need to cross the finish line, and she held her serve twice in a row to complete the victory and move into the final four in Lausanne.
Cornet is the only seeded player left in the draw. In the semifinals, the Frenchwoman will take on either Germany’s Tamara Korpatsch or Jil Teichmann, the last remaining Swiss player in the field.