In her third try against Caroline Wozniacki, Madison Keys finally had a breakthrough on Sunday at the Volvo Car Open. She took out Wozniacki, 7-6 (5), 6-3, to win her first tournament since winning Stanford in summer of 2017.
Keys came into the match with a lot of confidence after beating US Open champion Sloane Stephens for the first time in four tries two days ago, and then following up the breakthrough win a straight-set win against Monica Puig in the semifinals.
The 24-year-old American, who reached the Charleston final in 2015, jumped ahead in the beginning of the opening set but Wozniacki responded swiftly, claiming the break right away. The set was eventually decided in the tiebreak, with Keys winning her first set against the Dane.
With the first set in her pocket, Keys continued to apply pressure, forcing the No. 5 seed to make errors. Finally in the sixth game, the American succeeded to break, enough to deny Wozniacki her second Volvo Car Open title.
Wozniacki obviously owns the h2h, but shes also a hit or miss player and shes going to have her work cut out for her if she goes back to not getting her first serve in play. Keys is hitting the ball with great confidence and has really limited her unforced errors. When Keys is playing at this level, she takes the racket out of her opponents hands and puts a ton of pressure on her opponent to play perfect. We saw the way Puig was dominated in the second set when she wasnt getting her first serve in play, an issue that has been constant with Wozniacki. Keys will control this match and will win comfortably if she continues to control her mistakes.
Madison Keys wins in Charleston! [email protected]_Keys defeats Wozniacki 7-6(5), 6-3 to win her fourth career title and first title on clay. This is Madisons first tournament win since 2017.#VolvoCarOpen pic.twitter.com/QTI95GMPom
Keys, who is projected to move to No. 11 in the rankings on Monday, became the 15th WTA player to win a tournament this season, which means all 15 tournaments have been won by 15 different players so far this year. Entering the clay-court swing on Monday, the only player who had a chance to break the trend was 2019 Dubai champion Belinda Bencic until she was upset in the quarterfinals by Petra Martic.
Its no different on the mens side. Out of 20 tournaments played, Roger is the only player to win more than one title after victories in Dubai and Miami last month—he won his milestone 100th title in Dubai.
The Danish fifth seed used a solid serve to overpower her Croatian opponent en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win in the WTA claycourt tournament.
It marked the third time Wozniacki has made the final of the Charleston event, which she won eight years ago in 2011.
“I think I served well in most of the match and I think I returned really well most of the match as well, and I just tried to stay aggressive as much as I could and tried to make her run and make her move,” Wozniacki said. “I think I did well today.”
The world number 13 had never lost to Martic in five previous meetings and an upset never looked on the cards on Saturday as she completed a win in 1hr 25min.