WTA Brisbane: Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Alison Riske motor into QF



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WTA Brisbane: Madison Keys, Danielle Collins and Alison Riske motor into QF

It was a perfect day at the office for the American players in Brisbane, with all three reaching the quarter-final of the WTA Premier event. The organizers have saved the best match for Thursday when they will have the opportunity to stage encounters on the Centre court, unlike in the past three days, with Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova and Naomi Osaka all in action.

On Wednesday, Danielle Collins continued her impressive start of the season, ousting Elina Svitolina in the first match and destroying a qualifier Yulia Putnintseva 6-1, 6-0 in swift 58 minutes for the first WTA quarter-final since Charleston in April!

Putintseva had to work hard against Donna Vekic yesterday and didn't have much left in the tank for the American, barely hitting a winner against the opponent who counted to more than 30, dominating from start to finish to secure the place in the final eight.

Collins had to retire against Putintseva last year in Eastbourne but there was nothing wrong with her game today, dropping 12 points in six service games and fending off five break chances after already building a massive advantage.

Yulia landed 71% of the first serve in but that gave her nothing, giving away 60% of the points behind the initial shot and six breaks from ten chances created by the rock-solid American. Finding her A-game right from the start, Collins ruled the court and took the opener 6-1 with three breaks, earning another one at the beginning of the second set to find herself 3-0 in front.

Putintseva had her chances to at least avoid the bagel but it wasn't to be for her, standing powerless on both serve and return to propel Daniile into the quarters and finish this year's Brisbane run. Alison Riske ousted Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 33 minutes, beating the Czech for the first time in three encounters.

The American lost serve twice but was safe all the time after taking half of the return points, delivering five breaks to hold the strings of the scoreboard in her hands. Three of those came in the opening set that Riske won 6-3, with back-to-back breaks at the beginning of the second set that proved to be more competitive.

Staying neck and neck until the closing stages, Alison found the way to clinch a break at 5-4 and advance into the quarter-final without spending more time on the court. The 8th seed Madison Keys defeated Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 18 minutes to complete singles action in Brisbane, securing the first triumph over Stosur in four matches.

Madison fired ten aces and faced only two break points, getting broken once and stealing Stosur's serve thrice to wrap up the win in straight sets and stay on the title course despite a slow start. Carried by the home crowd, Samantha broke Madison at love in the first game and held at love with a forehand winner to open a 2-0 advantage in no time at all.

Recovering her strokes, Keys was back on the positive side of the scoreboard with a return winner in game six, serving well in the rest of the set and forcing an error from the Aussie in game 12 for the second break and a 7-5 advantage.

A backhand down the line winner carried Keys towards another break at the beginning of the second set, erasing a break chance in the next game and emerging at the top with a service winner in game nine to crack the last eight.