Entering the Western & Southern Open this week, there were questions about 极速赛车双面盘Madison Keys and her game after she endured first-round exits in Washington, D.C. and Toronto. The 24-year-old has shaken off those concerns with a stellar run to the Cincinnati final, defeating the in-form Sofia Kenin极速赛车双面盘, 7-5, 6-4, in her latest victory Saturday.
"I thought she was returning really well today and putting a lot of pressure on me," Keys told Brad Gilbert on court. "But I knew I could put myself in the position to break back," Keys That was my biggest thought every time I was down a break point.
Over the past five days, Keys has posted wins over Garbine Muguruza, Daria Kasatkina, Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Kenin, who was coming off a semifinal showing last week at the Rogers Cup. A victory Sunday over Svetlana Kuznetsova would see Keys return to the Top 10 of the WTA rankings ahead of the US Open, and lift her first WTA Premier 5 trophy. The American has not faced Kuznetsova since 2016, but is 3-0 in their head-to-head series, with every meeting coming on hard courts.
Rain delayed the start of her clash with Kenin, but once play began, Keys had nearly everything working。 From punishing forehands and deep serves to delightful replies when on the defense, it was clear the No。 16 seed came out hungry to avenge an earlier season defeat to the 20-year-old in Rome。
Keys served for the first set at 5-3, but a loose game, which included a double fault, saw her countrywoman get the set back on serve。 Up 6-5, Keys called for a visit from coach Juan Todero, who instructed her to open up a bit more and be wary of Kenin’s ability to redirect shots when absorbing Keys’ pace。 Having missed two set points in Kenin’s previous service game, Keys made sure to capitalize the third time around, drawing a backhand error to grab a one-set lead。
Both players struggled to hold serve in the second, as there were four breaks over a five-game stretch. Once Keys fended off break point to hold for 5-4, she pulled off the shot of the match in the following game at 15-30, carving a low slice backhand cross-court pass to set up two match points. She clinched the victory and let out a loud "c'mon!" when Kenin pushed a forehand long.
"I have no idea how I made that ball," Keys said. "I was more looking over at [my box] in shock that it actually went over the net and into the court."
THIS SHOT ???? gave us the shot of the tournament to set up match point。— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel)
Keys, who finished with 14 aces to four doubles faults, is seeking her second title of the season after triumph in Charleston, SC. All is not lost for Kenin, who will make her Top 20 debut on Monday.
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