WTA Cincinnati: Madison Keys prevails against Kuznetsova to win title


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WTA Cincinnati: Madison Keys prevails against Kuznetsova to win title

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.