“I really trusted my game and went for my shots, and kept trying to move forward even if I lost a point. So, overall I think I did really, really well today.”
Madison Keys had not won a set against Caroline Wozniacki in their only two previous meetings, but on Sunday, Keys turned things around. The American overpowered Wozniacki, 7-6 (5), 6-3, to claim her first tournament since winning Stanford in summer of 2017.
Keys came into the match with a lot of confidence after rallying to beat US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals for the first time in four tries, and then following up the breakthrough win with a straight-set victory against Monica Puig in the semifinals.
Video: Madison Keys vs. Caroline Wozniacki | 2019 Charleston Open Semifinal | WTA Highlights
Today, both players kicked off the match by trading breaks early and then held until they moved to the tiebreak, where the 24-year-old American kicked it into high gear. With the first set in her pocket, Keys—who reached the 2015 Charleston final—continued to apply pressure, keeping the No. 5 seed off balance. Finally in the sixth game, the American got the first and only break of the set, enough to deny Wozniacki her second Volvo Car Open title.
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
“I think I served well today,” Keys said after her win. “I also think I kept a lot of pressure on her, making a lot of returns and just keeping rallies going and not going for things too early. And more than anything, I really trusted my game and went for my shots, and kept trying to move forward even if I lost a point. So, overall I think I did really, really well today.”
Keys, who is currently ranked No. 18 in the world, has reunited with coach Juan Todero, who recently parted ways with 2016 Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig—Keys and Toredo worked together for two seasons until five years ago.
Before today, Keys had failed to reach a quarterfinal round since losing in the US Open semifinals to eventual winner Naomi Osaka. She also reached the French Open final four, exiting after a tight two-setter against Stephens.
The newly minted Volvo Car Open champion, who is projected to jump 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—which saw him win his milestone 100th title— and Miami last month.
Elsewhere, in Monterrey, Garbine Muguruza became the 16th player to win a trophy in 2019 after Victoria Azarenka retired with a leg injury while trailing 6-1, 3-1 in the final on Sunday.
Azarenka calls it quits in the final. Following her physical win over Kerber, Azarenka retires in the [email protected] defends her title at @Abierto_GNP. ???? pic.twitter.com/SfsdLZiC3h
Madison Keys overcame good friend Sloane Stephens to reach the Semi-finals of the Volvo Car Open. Seeded No.8 for the tournament, Keys had to battle past her fellow American 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-2 after two hours and 14 minutes. “I think a lot of the previous encounters I had been trying to do too much,” Keys said while speaking to the press post her match.
I was just trusting that I can stay in points and I can stay in rallies. And I don’t have to rush and try to hit a winner off the first ball. I think that was the biggest part from today”. The love and respect the two have for each other was visible once the match finished with Keys embracing Stephens with the two smiling at each other.
“It’s always hard to play a friend, so on that side of it you’re obviously not going to be saying ‘come on’ in each others’ faces or anything like that,” she said. “But, I mean, we’ve been friends forever.
So if she circles a mark and says it’s out, I’m going to believe her”. She next takes on the winner of Monica Puig and Danielle Collins. “Honestly, either match is going to be difficult, difficult in different ways,” Keys analysed.
“Monica has obviously had some good upsets and good matches this week”. “I haven’t really gotten to see any matches of either of them, so looking forward to seeing her tonight. And Danielle is obviously feisty and a fighter and goes for a lot of shots, so you have to be ready when you have your opportunities”.