BRISBANE, Australia - On a day that saw her make her first Premier final in nearly three years, earn a seeding at the upcoming Australian Open, and beat her third seed of the week at the Brisbane International, Alizé Cornet took a moment to pay tribute to a man she called "The Panda" who always reminded her to be thankful for what she had.
Cornet advanced to the Brisbane final after World No.7 Garbiñe Muguruza retired down 1-4 in the first set due to a right abductor (thigh) injury. Still stunned by the surprise retirement, Cornet signed "Vive la vie" on the courtside camera, a tribute to Patrick Bordier, a physio for the French federation who died of a heart attack last summer during the Rio Olympics.
"It's like 'enjoy life,' something like this," Cornet explained after the match.
"It's a dedication, because the Fed Cup physio that passed away last year during the Olympics was always saying this sentence, just to put the smile on our faces, like, OK, 'vive la vie."' Enjoy. You have a beautiful life, you're young, just enjoy.
"I think of him sometimes on the court. I'm like, OK, I'm so lucky to do what I like and to be on this court playing in front of these people and playing my passion. It's maybe simple to think like this, but it helps a lot in the bad moments and I owe him this sentence."
? Alize Cornet (@alizecornet) January 6, 2017