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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday January 23, 2022

After a grueling battle in the heat against Frenchwoman Alizé Cornet on Monday at the Australian Open, two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep did what she usually does in press after the match: she showed a ton of class.

Tennis Express

Halep heaped praise on Cornet for breaking through to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in her 63rd appearance at a major – which shatters the previous record for most women’s singles main draws played at the Slams before making a quarterfinal: 45, by Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand.

Halep, who fell 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, said Cornet deserves her good fortune, because she is such a hard worker.

“I have only nice words about her, because I like her on court, how she's fighting,” Halep said. “She deserves what is happening to her now. She work hard all the time, and, yeah, I wish her good luck. I really want her to make this dream coming true. Yeah, I will support her.”

Halep told reporters that she was pleased with her own performance in the first major of 2022, and despite the loss, she is looking forward to bigger and better things.

“I think I played well,” she said. “Just missed some opportunities, some chances, but I'm really happy with the way I fought today. So this is important. I'm super happy with the way I have been here in Australia. I struggled a lot last year, and the way I got up, it's looking really good. I'm happy about that, and I will take only the positives.”

During the match both players had moments of complete exhaustion in the heat, as they continued to battle across two hours and 33 minutes in the grueling midday heat.

Halep admitted that it was tough conditions to play in, but she made sure to tell the press that it was Cornet who was stronger in the end on Monday.

“Definitely it's been a tough battle, and actually she was a little bit stronger than me in the end,” she said. “All the credit to her for this victory.”