Heading to Cincinnati after three straight losses, world no. 18 Madison Keys toppled all the obstacles to lifting the crown, her fifth in a career and the second of the season after Charleston. In the final, Madison took down Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 7-6 in an hour and 44 minutes, taking six points more than the Russian and coming for a 5-3 deficit in both sets to cross the finish line in straight sets and return into the top-10 for the first time in 15 months.
It was their fourth meeting on the Tour and the fourth victory for the American who is yet to lose a set against the more experienced rival, barely managing to stay on that streak today with a better performance in the closing stages of both sets.
Keys had the upper hand on the court, hitting 45 winners and 29 unforced errors, leaving Kuznetsova on a 15-10 ratio and fending off five out of seven break points, delivering three breaks to prevail and celebrate the biggest title in a career.
Svetlana grabbed a break in the very first game of the match when Madison netted a forehand, serving well in games two and four to move 3-1 up. The Russian saved a couple of break chances in the sixth game to remain in front and wasted three opportunities that could have sent her 5-2 up, allowing Keys to take the momentum after that game and level the score at 5-5 with a backhand winner that kept her in the opener.
The American held at 15 in the 11th game with a smash winner and scored another break with a forehand winner for a 7-5 after 50 minutes, taking four straight games and hoping for more of the same in set number two. Instead of that, Kuznetsova broke in the third game after a loose forehand from Keys, saving a break chance in the next game and forging a 5-3 advantage with a hold at love in game eight.
Returning to stay in the set, Madison broke at 15 in game ten just like in the first set, repelling a break point in the next game and taking the tie break 7-5 with a service winner to celebrate the title and the top-10 return ahead of the US Open.