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US teen Townsend tops No. 20 Cornet at French Open

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 28, 2014 at 3:16 pm •  Published: May 28, 2014
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PARIS (AP) — For all the problems facing Taylor Townsend on Wednesday at the French Open, the 18-year-old American's first Grand Slam tournament, she always had her notebook to offer comfort and counsel.

So along the way to beating 20th-seeded Alize Cornet of France 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the third round, the 205th-ranked Townsend sat at changeovers and read what she'd written during practices. Those jottings were useful when Townsend was losing five games in a row to blow a 4-1 lead in the second set, or letting most of a 5-1 edge slip away in the third, or dealing with the wildly partisan crowd.

"They just kind of get me back into a state of mind ... (of) keeping things simple," she said. "I mean, I have been doing it for so long, it's kind of a habit now, so if I don't read it, it's weird. ... But it also helps me, especially in situations like today."

Townsend wouldn't offer specifics on what she writes in her notebook, saying with a smile: "I can't give you my secrets."

Townsend, who says she's working toward a high school degree, earned a wild card from the U.S. Tennis Association based on her results during a series of lower-level tournaments this spring. Now she's the youngest U.S. woman in the third round at Roland Garros since 2003.

"These are the moments, these are the things, that any young professional athlete is working for," said the bubbly Townsend.

She celebrated on court with a dance that's popular in her home state of Georgia, then chuckled through her news conference, including when informed that Wimbledon champion Andy Murray tweeted about her.

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