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January 6, 2017
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
A. CORNET/G. Muguruza
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Must be quite an emotional day for you. Premier-level semifinal and a retirement and all of a sudden you're in the final. How do you feel about all of that?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Yeah, and it was a bit unexpected, this retirement from GarbiĂ±e. Yeah, I was trying to stay focused. As I said on the court, I was trying to stay focused on my match and what I had to do, and I didn't actually check on her so much. I was just more focused on myself.
So when she decided to stop, I was a little bit surprised, but, you know, a little bit of luck never killed anybody. I'm just going to take it. I really enjoy the fact that I'm in the final.
It's a big day for me, yeah. I just learn that I'm going to be seeded at the Australian Open because of this match. So it's two good news at the same time, and I take everything (smiling).
Q. It looked like, in the five games that you guys played, that you were trying to get her moving as much as possible, keep her uncomfortable. Was that a little bit of the game plan today against her?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Not really. That was not my first option. But I saw that she was maybe not moving as well as usual. So then I was trying to be a little bit more aggressive and keep her on the move.
I think I played pretty smart, actually, in these first five games of the match, and I showed her that I wouldn't let go a single point, that I would be on her back for the whole match.
I think with the pain she had on her legs, it didn't help, you know. I think she saw that she had a tough battle ahead of her, and maybe it was too much for her to handle after these tough matches that she had before.
So I'm happy, because I really had the good attitude and the good game for the beginning of the match and pushed her to retire, I would say.
Q. Would you have liked to have a good match before the final, or are you okay with rest?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: What do you mean? If I had enough time on court?
Q. Only five games.
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Yeah, but I had enough time on the previous games.
No, no, I have enough tennis for a long time, I tell you (smiling). I'm totally ready for this final.
Actually, I mean, this retirement is perfect for me, because it can keep me fresh for tomorrow. I will have some more recovery, some more treatment with the physio. My potential opponent is playing at 9:00 tonight, so they will finish late. It's maybe less comfortable.
So I think I'm in a good position right now. I will make sure that everything is fixed for tomorrow and for the big day.
Q. Your opponents, would you prefer to play either one of them?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: It's two different game. You have Svitolina on one side. Counterpuncher, doesn't make any mistakes. Runs everywhere. Very physical game. Big fighter, also. She's young, very talented.
I played against her last time in Roland Garros, I believe, two years ago. So a little bit like, more like, similar game to me.
And on the other side you have Pliskova. Huge serve, huge strokes, maybe moves a little bit less well, but she's very efficient on her attack shots. She's coming in very fast during the point.
I will take a look a little bit at the match, see how it goes, and then prepare my final. But I think I have to stay focused on myself and on what I did good for the whole week.
Q. You have a winning record against both Pliskova and Svitolina.
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Oh, yeah? I have played Pliskova once in my life?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: I don't remember (laughter). Good to know. Good to know. But I think that was before she was top 10, right? Long time ago.
Q. But, you know, how much confidence do those wins in the past give you at all?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Well, I don't remember the one against Pliskova, so obviously doesn't help me a lot.
And against Svitolina, I remember the last match that I lost against her. So maybe I have to go a little bit further in my memory, try to remember this match that I won against them.
But it's total different day tomorrow, you know, different conditions. These girls have improved a lot since the last time I played them.
I also have improved. It's probably different surface, different conditions. I will just take it as a match on the day it is and with what I have on this day. We will see how it goes.
You know, I just want to take it step by step and don't think about the past, don't think about the future. Just the present.
Q. One of your wins against Serena, was that at the Australian Open?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Serena was Dubai and Wimbledon.
Q. What did you write on the camera?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: "Viva la vie." Yeah, it means -- there is no translation in English. It's like "enjoy life," something like this, yeah.
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, okay, "viva la vie." Enjoy. You have a beautiful life, you're young, just enjoy.
I think of him sometimes on the court. I'm like, Okay, 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.
Q. Getting back to your wins against Serena, the last two matches, how does that bring to your confidence as a player?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Yeah, it meant a lot. It was two years ago, and I remember these matches very well, because it was -- the two times I beat her was perfect match for me, and it showed me that I could actually play such good tennis to beat the world No. 1.
At this time, she was almost unbeatable. She was winning everything in 2014. Yeah, I was almost one of the only players that beat her, and, yeah, it showed me that I had guts and that I had some talent, also, and some nerves to actually beat these players.
So of course it helped me a lot in the rest of the season. But then last year, I got injured and actually, you know, then you forget a little bit these kind of matches. It's a shame, because it should be a reference.
So I still keep it in my mind sometimes, but I have to move forward, of course. Now, two years is a long time and a lot of things have changed.
Q. Talk about Svitolina. We know Pliskova well, know what her game style looks like. From your perspective, and you're a veteran who knows the game very well, when you watch her play, what makes her game...
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Pliskova?
Q. No, Svitolina.
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Ah, Svitolina, okay.
Yeah, she's so solid. I mean, when you see her, it's like you have the feeling that her last unforced errors was in 1993. It's a joke. (Laughter.)
She's never missing an easy ball. And to beat Kerber this way, I mean, Kerber is this kind of player also that you know she's not going go a single point. She's going to run everywhere.
She actually beat her at her own game. And being a little bit more aggressive when she needed to, playing -- like, I think she was playing the right shot at the right moment.
I like it, because she's smart when she plays. Then she has to improve also her second serve, but like most of the girls, we are struggling with our second serves.
She's a very complete player, and you can see that she can still improve a lot. So probably a future top-10 player, without any doubt.
Q. With regards to the Australian Open seeding, have you been told you're projected to go to 32 in the rankings or 31?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: I have no idea. Actually, I just read it on Twitter, like, 30 minutes ago, but I had no idea that I would be seeded.
The ranking doesn't matter to me anymore. I'm just trying to play my game and give my best on every matches. I really try to take this from the ranking now.
Q. It's just nice to be seeded?
ALIZĂ‰ CORNET: Yeah. As I was saying, it's a little protection, but you have a lot of surprises going on now during the tournaments. A lot of seeded are actually losing in the first round. So it just assure me I won't play a top 30 in the first two rounds.
But a lot of players are playing very good out of the top 30. It will depend on the draw.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports