American Keys Fights Back To Defeat Strycova

Internazionali BNL D’Italia, Rome

[24] Madison Keys (USA) vs. [36] Barbora Strycova (CZE)

They were tied 1:1 in their head-to-head, with Keys winning their last encounter on clay.  Strycova looked headed to take the lead when she grabbed what appeared to be a commanding lead in the first set.  Yet, as we have seen so many times in the past a lead is not consolidated until the set is won and despite her struggles Keys has the weapons to erase just about any lead.  She is feeling much more confident with each victory here and did not unravel today despite the deficit.  Keys dug deep and focused on winning one point at a time to even the set and then win it 6-4. The disappointment of losing the second set was pushed aside in the third showing Keys’ new level of mental fitness.  As Strycova got tentative, Keys lifted her game to win the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. She moves on to her first semifinal at this tournament where she will play Garbine Muguruza.  Will Keys make it to final or will Muguruza deny her?



[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [5] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

He’s gotten closer but Nadal just cannot seem to find the extra ingredient necessary to get by the barrier called Djokovic. Today it looked promising but the shaky confidence that has plagued Nadal’s game reared its ugly head at the most inopportune moments and he was broken to lose both sets.  The amount of emotional energy required to get a lead on Djokovic is draining, even for a champion like Nadal.  No matter how strong he is, losing this has got to have shaken his confidence.  It was perhaps more damaging especially when he had the lead in both sets and could not close them out.  Djokovic won 7-5, 7-6(4).

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