Alize Cornet, upcoming tennis star from France, is currently youngest TOP20 player and tommorow she will (probably) reach her career first title in Budampest. Actualy she is only 1990+ player together with #30 Wozniacki ranked in TOP50 (including ATP). So all looks so good in her case, almost perfect, BUT... her case is totaly unique, so i want to start discussion about that. Is she realy on good way like seems from her meteoric improvement in rankings or her unique way is actualy big mistake?
Last season she become maybe first player ever in WTA history with more than 40 matches at claycourt surface in one single season (in ATP even Nadal never managed that, only Davydenko) and this season together with Almagro she is only one with 30+ claycourt matches. She is born 1990, but looking at all WTA players which is born after 1985 only Dinara Safina played in whole career so far more claycourt matches than Cornet in just last two years
. If we look all her seasons she played 100% of her 2005 matches at clay, 62% in 2006, 70% in 2007 and 77% so far in 2008, which means she played at clay 82 of her 114 career matches (72%!!!) which is totaly unique case, especialy if we talking about TOP100 players. Out of clay (61-21) her career W/L record at all other surfaces is just 16-16 (which include only 6 TOP100 wins) and without her claycourt points in last 12 months Alize will be ranked about #150 place
at WTA right now (at hardcourts, grass, carpet, she reach just about 200 of her about 1300 overal points from last 52 weeks). I watch her match at USO/07 against Jankovic and she is not so bad at all, but because she ignoring and avoid all other surfaces (except clay) no big progress in her game (except at clay of course).
So what you thinking about Alize Cornet career strategy so far?
Here is Alize Cornet career stats (by surfaces) in tables:
SEASON OVERALL CLAY OTHERS SUMMARY
2005: 1- 1 1- 1 0- 0 at clay - 2 of 2 matches
2006: 9- 4 6- 2 3- 2 at clay - 8 of 13 matches
2007: 42-18 31-11 11- 7 at clay - 42 of 60 matches
2008: 25-14 *23- 7 2- 7 at clay - 30 of 39 matches
OVERALL: 77-37 61-21 16-16 at clay - 82 of 114 matches
* - i counted tommorows final like win already
Here is some interesting facts about "Experience" of active slam winners at clay:
Alize Cornet since 2007: 72 claycourt matches
Svetlana Kuznetsova since 2003: 91 claycourt matches
Serena Williams since 2000: 79 claycourt matches
Venus Williams since 2003: 78 claycourt matches
Maria Sharapova: 57 career claycourt matches
Ana Ivanovic: 52 career claycourt matches
Lindsay Davenport since 2000: 48 claycourt matches
Amelie Mauresmo since 2005: 41 claycourt matches