"A few years ago, I couldn't play on grass. I was so bad," Cornet told the BBC, then informed the assembled media it was her first visit to Wimbledon's main interview room.
"I'm just calming down now because I was very excited for an hour," she said. "I couldn't believe it. I still cannot believe it, actually. If somebody would have told me a couple years ago that I would be in second week here in Wimbledon, beating Serena, I wouldn't have believed it."
Williams' loss once again opens up her quarter of the draw where, as in the French Open, resides Maria Sharapova, an easy 6-3, 6-0 winner Saturday over American Alison Riske. The best guess from most experts was that Sharapova and Williams were destined to meet in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.
For Williams, seemingly consoling herself even in obvious despair, she spoke of studying video and getting better.
"It's OK ... sometimes it happens," Williams said. "You know, you work hard, maybe it's not for today, maybe it's for tomorrow. I just got to keep going."
For the immediate future, she continues in Wimbledon doubles with her sister Venus, also eliminated in the third round of singles. It is the first time in eight years neither Serena nor Venus will be competing in the second week here in singles.
"I told Venus the other day like, I don't even want to play because I'm so bad right now," Serena Williams said. "She should get a new partner."
Ostensibly, she was kidding. But Williams will turn 33 in September and the retirement questions have already begun leaking into the conversation. But just as surely, she fended them off.
"You know, just 'cause you lose a match doesn't mean you stop," she said. "You just got to kind of keep going. Like I said, maybe it wasn't for today. Maybe it's for tomorrow. So I'll just keep fighting. That's all I can do really.
"I know that I can do better. I know that I have potential to continue to be on top. So hopefully that's what keeps me motivated."