Madison Keys -14- (USA) def [Q] Qiang Wang -45- (CHN) 61 64
World #14 Madison Keys and Qiang Wang met for the first time exactly one month ago in the 1st-Round of the Australian Open, where Keys emerged the victor 61 75. Madison would go on to defeat World #8 Caroline Garcia in the Round of 16 to reach Melbourne’s Quarterfinals for the second time.
Tuesday’s 1st-Round clash in Doha was nearly an identical match. Madison won the first five games and earned the first set in under 30-minutes. In the second, Keys gave up a break to fall behind 2-4, but overcame the hiccup by winning four consecutive games to reach Round-2.
Up Next: [Q] Cici Bellis -48- (USA)
Essentially, Cici and Madison are traveling with the same team this week. They’ve never faced each other in Tour-level competition, but often train together in Florida.
While Madison scored her first win of the week with a straight-sets rout on center court, Cici has spent considerably more time on courts across the complex. Over the weekend, she won a pair of qualifying matches, before dismissing World #24 Daria Kasatkina in the 1st-Round.
That time on court has been advantageous for most of this year’s qualifiers (sorry Qiang Wang). Along with Cici, Naomi Osaki, Anna Blinkova and Monica Niculescu all won their 1st-Round matches. Niculescu upset this year’s headliner, Maria Sharapova.
The truth is, 18-year-old Bellis has proven herself to be dangerous in Doha. To win, Madison will need the rhythm and confidence she displayed during last year’s run to the US Open Final. Especially if Tournament Supervisor Tony Cho puts their match on an outer court.
At 22-years-old, this Grand Slam Finalist has been ranked as high as #7 in the World. Last Summer in Stanford, she won her 3rd WTA Singles title, then went on to reach her first Grand Slam Final at the US Open. Last month in Melbourne, she earned her 13th career win over a top-10 opponent, defeating Caroline Garcia to reach the Australian Open Quarterfinals for the second time. In 2016, she reached the Bronze Medal match in her Olympic debut at the Summer Games in Rio, qualified for the WTA Finals Singapore, and finished the season with a year-end ranking inside the top-10 for the first time. Making her Qatar Total Open debut, from the United States – Please welcome, Madison Keys
Last month, this 26-year-old reached a career-high ranking of World #44, after a 2017 season that had fans stand-up and take notice. Last February, she reached the Quarterfinals of the Premier-5 event in Dubai, defeating Jelena Ostapenko and Kristina Mladenovic along the way. Then in April, she won her first Tour-level title at the WTA-125 Series event in Zhengzhou; and finished the year with a Semifinalist run in Hong Kong, earning a career-best, year-end ranking inside the top-45. Five years ago, she scored the biggest win of her career at the Malaysian Open, where she played through qualifying, defeating World #10 Caroline Wozniacki in the 1st-Round. Competing in her 4th Qatar Total Open, from China – Please Welcome, Wang Qiang