I made her run: Cornet on how she beat Serena

New Delhi: Popular in the tennis circuit after taming Serena Williams thrice this year, Frenchwoman Alize Cornet says the key to conquering the world number one lies in countering her man-like serves with exhausting rallies.

Serena, winner of 18 singles Grand Slam titles, lost only nine matches in the 2014 season and three of those defeats have come against Cornet, who is world number 19.

The contest between the two players at Wuhan could not be completed as Serena retired mid-way but Cornet pulled off terrific wins in Dubai and Wimbledon.

“It was amazing beating her three times this year. But the win at the Wimbledon Centre Court was more special. She’s on top of the women’s tennis. She’s playing amazing, so definitely it was the biggest win of my career,” Cornet, who is playing for the Mumbai team in CTL, told PTI in an interview.

So what does it take to beat a player of the caliber of Serena and how exactly did she plan the fall of the super rival?

“I was taking more on the first shot because Serena is very good on the first shot, like serves, returns. I was trying to make the rallies last a little bit longer and at the same time when I had a chance, I tried to be aggressive.

“I was trying to make her run. Everyone knows it’s (running) not her best quality. She is running well but she is more dangerous when she is controlling the game. So I was trying to play very deep and move her when I can. Only defence can’t work, so I mixed it up.

“I was just trying to move good and try to put back as many balls as possible. I was trying to return well because she serves like a man, so that when the point was on, it was less difficult for me. I just tried to get right tactics with my coach and it worked,” she explained her strategy.

The 24-year-old said those wins over Serena made her believe that she “can beat any player in the world.”

“Beating her on grass in a very tight match was really good, very emotional. I hope I can do it again and beat many top-10 players like that.”