Madison Keys defeated Marketa Vondrousova in their US Open quarter-final meeting on Wednesday evening. The 17th seed needed 86 minutes to wrap up a 6-1, 6-4 win in her favour over the ninth seed. The result also meant Vondrousova’s run of 10 straight wins at the Slams, going back to her Wimbledon victory in July, came to an end.
When the match began, it didn’t look like Keys would emerge as the winner with such a score-line backing her. The American, who served first in the opening set, had to save three break points in a lengthy opening service game before holding her ground in the proceedings.
But once she’d passed this hurdle, Keys began to strike her shots freely. She did save two more break points while trying to consolidate her second break, for a 5-0 lead. In the following game, the Czech finally broke her rival’s dominance in the set and held her serve for the first time in the day.
A game later, Keys had secured the set for herself. The left-hander didn’t let the outcome of the first set dictate her mind in the second set. She held her ground – and serve – right up to the ninth game. Until that game, Vondrousova hadn’t faced any break points in that set.
But after having been unable to crack Keys’ serve in the eighth game, despite having five break points, Vondrousova’s own serve cracked and she conceded a break for the last time in the event. Serving for the match, the 28-year-old was pushed to a couple of deuces and eventually needed three match points to accomplish the task of advancing to the penultimate round.
Keys faced nine break points in the match and saved the whole lot. Vondrousova, on the other hand, went 0 for three on break points saved. Keys had 19 winners to the world no. 9’s 10 and 28 unforced errors to the latter’s 19.
This is the third time that Madison Keys’ gone this far at the US Open. Her best result here, however, has been reaching the final in 2017. That year, she was the runner-up to Sloane Stephens, who lost in the first round this time.
Keys then reached the semi-final for a second time in 2018. Now, looking to reach the final in New York City for the second time in her career, Keys will play Aryna Sabalenka. The world no. 2 won her quarter-final against Qinwen Zheng earlier on Wednesday.