Western and Southern Open: Iga Swiatek was astonished when Madison Keys advanced to the quarterfinals of the Western & Southern Open, further derailing the world No. 1’s plans for the US Open.
Swiatek lost 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday, losing her 50th match of the year after saving four match points in the previous round. This was the second straight tournament Swiatek lost in the final 16.
In their two previous meetings, Keys, the 2019 Cincinnati winner, had never beaten Swiatek of Poland in a set, but the American was far more proficient with her strong returns and groundstrokes this time around, breaking the world No. 1 five times.
A first victory against a reigning World No.1…
— wta (@WTA) August 18, 2022
“I obviously had a couple of games with a couple of match points, but I’m just so happy to be able to get the win,” Keys said after her first career win over a world No 1. “The last time I played her she beat me pretty badly, so I’m pretty glad to get that one under my belt.”
In his match against Keys, Swiatek, who had previously complained that the tennis balls used in American competitions for women were different from those used by men, committed a number of unforced errors and lost two sets.
As Keys quickly raced to a 5-0 lead in the second set, Swiatek struggled to regain her composure during the bathroom break in between sets.
Swiatek saved two match points while serving to stay in the match, which encouraged her to win the following four games as Keys committed numerous errors. However, this merely postponed the inevitable as Keys broke Swiatek to seal the victory with a forehand winner.
Keys will next take on Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina, who advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2, 6-4. Wimbledon runner-up and sixth seed Ons Jabeur was eliminated by Czech Petra Kvitova.
Jabeur served poorly in the first set, committing four double faults, but the Tunisian fought valiantly in the second to force a third set. Jabeur, although saving two match points, withered in the intense heat, and Kvitova advanced to the round of eight.
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