Hard Fought Victory For Keys

Keys victory

Western & Southern Open, Cincinnati

[4] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs. [13] Madison Keys (USA)

Keys has not been able to defeat Kerber since 2014. The only two matches to go to three sets prior to today’s match were two finals and they split those 1:1. Kerber has dominated Keys on hard court and had never lost a match on the surface to the American prior to this match.

Doubts and frustration clouded Keys’ mind and they were evident in various stages throughout the match. She lost the first set without offering up much resistance probably because she was thinking of her dismal record against the German. Yet, the prospect of losing another match to the German was not too appealing and it ignited the fighting spirit in the American allowing her to compete better in the second set.

The frustration was still evident when she squandered opportunities to win the second set prior to the tiebreak; however, Kerber is a major champion for a reason and she fought off the break points against to force a tiebreak. However, the American stifled her disappointment and went with what she knew best; she attacked everything Kerber sent her way and punished her when she left the ball short in the court.

It has been an up and down season for the American and with the last major less than two weeks away, a victory today would do wonders for her confidence (she was a finalist at the US Open last year). She still struggles on the backhand side following her left wrist surgeries and Kerber attacked that side for most of the match; however, Keys found a way to utilize her ferocious forehand sufficiently to keep her in the match and in the end to help her win the match.

The roles were reversed in the latter stages of the match. Kerber was unable to control her frustration at her errors and lost her focus just enough to give the American the opportunity she needed to break and serve out the match. It was a hard fought victory for the American though, who won 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.

SOURCE OF IMAGE:  Zimbio.com (Rob Carr/Getty Images North America-Madison Keys)

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