Madison Keys def Kaia Kanepi 63 63
Night-10 in Arthur Ashe Stadium featured the two remaining Quarterfinal matches of the 2017 US Open. While most fans arrived early for the eagerly anticipated rematch of the 2009 US Open Final between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro, they were treated to a moment 36-years in the making. For the first time since 1981, the US Open Semifinals will feature four Americans.
Midnight Madison. Efficient and agressive
Madison Keys wasted no time getting to work in Wednesday night’s undercard versus the resurgent Kaia Kanepi. The World #16 fired two aces and opened with a hold at love. After the first sit-down, she earned her first break of the match, then protected serve the rest of the way to take set-1. In the second, Madison opened with break #2, and capped the win with her third service-theft. The match lasted just over an hour. Madison faced only three break points. She fired 8 aces, 23 winners, and completed the victory without a single double fault. Nearly flawless.
Comeback Kanepi had to be exhausted
A qualifier, it was her eighth match of the tournament. Kanepi’s backstory: After an extended absence due to injury, the 32-year-old Estonian returned to the sport just 3 months ago. She was ranked outside the top-500. Since then, the former top-15 player won her 11th and 12th ITF Women’s Circuit Singles titles, and played through US Open qualifying. She then defeated Francesca Schiavone, Yanina Wickmayer, Naomi Osaka and Daria Kasatkina to reach the Quarters. Over two weeks, she spent twice as much time on court as Keys.
Madison’s comeback in 2017
Madison is a comeback story herself. After missing the first two months of 2017 due to wrist surgery, she and coach Lindsay Davenport have been working out the kinks since Indian Wells. Four months later, they found their rhythm in Stanford, where Madison crushed the top-seed Garbine Muguruza in the Semi’s, then won a tight two-sets over Coco Vandeweghe in the Final. Here in Flushing, she endured two of the latest matches of her career, coming from behind to defeat Elena Vesnina in the 3rd-Round (1:45am), and Elina Svitolina in the Round of 16. The season-delaying surgery was an irritating aside, after a 2016 that saw Madison win her second career title, reach two finals, compete in the Bronze medal match in Rio, climb to a career-high ranking of World #7 and compete in the year-end WTA Finals.
Madison owns Coco Vandeweghe
With the victory Wednesday night, Madison gets Coco Vandeweghe in the Semifinals, a fellow American she has dominated this Summer – both in the Stanford Final and in the 1st-Round at Cincinnati. They’ll face-off in tomorrow’s second match, following the other all-American Semifinal featuring Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens. The US Open hasn’t seen four Americans in the Semifinals since 1981 when Chris Evert, Barbara Potter, Tracy Austin and Martina Navratilova pulled-off the US sweep. Back then, Venus was 15-months-old. The others…hadn’t been born yet.